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Increased gambling and tighter restrictions - what changed for the casinos?

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With COVID-19 time spent gambling has increased, leading to a more serious focus on responsible gambling awareness.

The year 2020 was full of changes, horrors, and interesting developments. One of the biggest was the arrival of the Coronavirus that put a stop to or hit pause for most industries.

For land-based and online casinos the pandemic (and subsequent lockdown measures) has been both a blessing and a curse.

Land-based terror of Covid-19

Due to the pandemic, many industries and businesses have had to pause their operations. This includes land-based casinos and sportsbooks due to the lack of sports events currently running.

The financial strain resulted in various casinos having to let go of large numbers of staff and eventually closing their doors permanently.

Land-based casinos saw brief relief with a short period where they could open to the public. Unfortunately, they had to close yet again after the announcements of a second wave. While many are still trying to hold strong and the online industry and government relieve stress where possible, it's unclear how long land-based casinos will survive.

There are speculations that the pandemic will be the final nail in the land-based casino coffin.

Boredom at home led to increased online gameplay

For casino players forced to stay at home, a new world has opened up. Many that have not tried online casinos before are now discovering the wonders of the online casino industry.

According to reports, there has been a rise in gambling in the UK throughout the year with no slowing down on the horizon.

The UK Gambling Commission did a survey and found that most players have increased their gameplay due to having more time on their hands or simply being bored.

The UK tightens the reigns

December 2020 was a hard month, especially for those residing within the United Kingdom. Over the festive season, most of the UK was in Tier 3 or 4 lockdown meaning most places were shut down and people had to remain indoors.

Where Christmas and New Year are usually celebrated in large groups, it had been limited to small family groups. Apart from this, there have been several other lockdown restrictions implemented including the closing of land-based casinos.

As such, there has also been a larger focus put on increased gameplay via online casinos. The Gambling Commission has been quite busy throughout 2020 implementing several temporary and permanent regulatory changes.

Of course, not all of these were met with grace by operators and it has led to many operators leaving. It has been noted that the UKGC is extremely strict and focused on making gambling responsible and safe for all players.

They have focused a lot on age restrictions, gambling safety features, and limiting debt occurrence.

Is it becoming too strict?

The online casino industry is quickly changing. Over the past few years, the industry has gone from strength to strength with new rules, games and ways of gameplay added daily. While the growth is phenomenal, the rules that come along with the change is slowly but surely narrowing the lines and, in many ways, restricting the way forward.

For now, the biggest focus should remain on implementing limits for players with too much time on their hands - To ensure they play for entertainment purposes and not out of boredom alone. The industry should be safe and secure, but it should not be so restricted that there is no longer room for growth or change.

It will result in players seeking black-market gaming entertainment where no rules or regulations are keeping them in check.

Published: January 7, 2021

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Article by Stelly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey there! I am Stelly, and happily, I'm part of CasinoWow's content team. It excites me to be able to write and share with all gambling enthusiasts unbiased reviews and news that contribute to the gambling community and industry. Thankfully, I also have the chance to help you make an informed choice for casino brands and games, as well as provide interesting guides and news.

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