The year 2020 has been tumultuous for everyone. The whole world had to adapt to the new conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every industry scrambled to make necessary changes to survive the economic downturn caused by everyone staying home during the lockdown. The casino and gambling industry was no different.
Seeing as casinos rely heavily on foot traffic, those that didn’t have a digital platform suffered greatly and had to close temporarily. Going into 2021, gambling enthusiasts should expect to continue to play primarily on online casinos, as many sites have realized that digital gaming is the future.
Many experts agree with this sentiment, and the numbers suggest that online gaming will continue to blossom into a multibillion-dollar industry going forward.
- Government regulations forced land-based casinos to close due to health concerns.
- Traditional casinos began to open new online casinos to survive.
- Mobile gambling sees a massive influx of players as people were told to stay at home.
A Closer Look at Online Gambling During COVID-19
With so much happening this year, it can be hard to remember all the events that transpired. The gambling industry was shaken to its core and fundamentally changed.
In the first few months of 2020, nobody knew just how serious COVID-19 was until Eastern countries like China and South Korea started locking their countries down. The West was somewhat late to react, and casinos continued to operate. The following events reflect some of the pandemic’s most critical impacts on the US gambling industry.
Land-based Casinos Forced to Shut Down
Due to the economic downturn, many casinos had to shut down entirely, and thousands of employees suddenly lost their jobs – some permanently. This drop in revenue proved to be extremely harmful, and many of these will not reopen ever again.
Once land-based casinos reopened, they looked completely different from what players were used to. These venues had to operate under strict safety protocols that, while extremely beneficial for players’ safety, discouraged individuals from stepping foot indoors. Therefore, many preferred to play in their home, safe from any danger.
Migration to Online Casinos
Visiting brick-and-mortar casinos proved to be too dangerous as coronavirus began to spiral out of control. This led players to migrate digitally and sign up at real money online casinos.
Those that were already established in the market saw revenues and player counts rise drastically, while the casinos that didn’t have an online presence suffered even more. Many younger players already enjoyed digital gambling, and not much changed for them.
Visiting a casino in person is more of an event where players can socialize, enjoy the atmosphere, and gamble. However, online gambling is a much more focused affair. This subsequently led to a stronger focus on the importance of responsible gaming practices.
Mobile Gambling Boom
Playing casino games on smartphones is the method of choice for most gamblers now due to the migration to online casinos. Although playing on laptops or desktops is a viable choice, the fact that you can play on the go with a smartphone is attractive.
Playing on a mobile device means you can play while anywhere in your home or on-the-go. Nonetheless, this can pose a few dangers if the player plays irresponsibly. It’s always important to gamble on a smartphone in a safe environment.
What Can We Expect in 2021?
COVID-19 completely changed the gambling industry, and a lot of the changes will become permanent as we transition into 2021. Online gaming is here to stay, and more casinos will revolve their business plans entirely digitally. Mobile gaming will continue to expand as smartphones become more advanced and affordable.
These changes are certainly more beneficial on the consumer end as gambling becomes more accessible and comfortable. Players can now enjoy their favorite games in their own homes rather than having to visit a brick-and-mortar casino. As 2021 approaches, hopefully, the effects of coronavirus can subside, and some normalcy can return.