How Will the Gambling Industry Change After Lockdown?

The business world has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, from high street retailers to travel agencies. Included within this bracket is the gambling industry, which many people might not consider at first.

As gambling is such a big contributor to the UK economy, it’s necessary to preserve the industry whilst also ensuring that its consumers are safe and supported. Here are all the ways the gambling industry has changed following on from the global pandemic, and how you can support those affected by these changes.

Sports Betting

One of the most popular forms of gambling is betting money on the outcome of a sports game or event. However, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, most sporting events have been canceled or postponed. The most notable example of this happening is with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which have been pushed back to summer 2021. The summer and winter Olympic games have always generated income for the gambling industry, with people betting their money on everything from bobsled to tennis. Now this major event has been postponed, and other huge tournaments like the Wimbledon Championship have been canceled (for the first time since World War II), there will be a massive deficit of business for the gambling industry, impacting jobs.

On top of this, people who were originally planning to bet on these events are now looking to sate their appetite elsewhere, which could have negative consequences. Sports betting is generally done in social settings, encouraging participants to have a healthy relationship with gambling. With lockdown keeping people at home, they could turn to illegal betting enterprises that don’t abide by government regulations for safe and responsible gambling. Problem gambling is also associated with secretiveness, so lockdown could further exacerbate this behavior.

If you suspect this is happening to a loved one or yourself, then have a look on the BeGambleAware website and call their helpline or use their resources. If you’re more concerned about losing the money you used to make on sports betting, Sports Illustrated recommends future wagering should be done for fun as opposed to investing. This means the sports betting industry can stay alive whilst we wait for the dust to settle and for events to finally begin again.

With more people betting online as a result of the pandemic, punters have more access to information than ever before. Now, online services offer just about every type of analysis imaginable. For instance, you can find tips for your football confidence pools at www.docsports.com/nfl-confidence-pool-picks.html and get a leg up on the bookies and your friends!

Bingo Halls

Social distancing restrictions mean people can’t come within a two-meter distance of one another; any social activities should take place outdoors where there is good air circulation and mass gatherings are banned. This is bad news for establishments like bingo halls. The pandemic has resulted in them shutting down and they will probably remain closed in the foreseeable future. In addition to this, people might be scared to attend bingo halls beyond lockdown, particularly as bingo is a popular exercise amongst the elderly (who are at the highest risk for COVID-19). This could lead to the bankruptcy and permanent closure of such establishments. The gambling industry would be significantly impacted by this as bingo halls provide a significant portion of its income and employ hundreds of people. All these factors mean we’ll likely see a rise in the popularity of online bingo after lockdown. This is a highly competitive industry with thousands of websites for people to choose from.

These websites will often include an online chat room as well, so they’re good for people who are feeling isolated as a result of lockdown. However, you should always make sure the online bingo provider is approved by the government for safe and responsible gambling. You can find out more about these regulations by reading this information on BeGambleAware.org. There is also the possibility of Bingo Halls shifting to outdoor arenas after lockdown, where air circulation is constant, and seating can be placed at suitable distances apart. With peak summertime coming soon, this would be a viable solution.

Casinos and Arcades

Casinos are perhaps the biggest contributor to the gambling industry. When we think of gambling, we think of the glittering casinos in Las Vegas. However, social distancing regulations mean these crowded establishments wouldn’t be safe anymore. It’d also be difficult to stay on top of hygiene as dice would need to be cleaned whenever they’re rolled, and slot machines would need to be wiped down as soon as people have finished using them.

Essentially, it’s a massive undertaking to keep hygiene and social distancing in place in an environment like an arcade. Once again, this has led to casinos closing, and they will likely shut permanently in the future as they won’t be receiving a steady stream of customers anymore. As such, there has been a significant shift towards online casinos since lockdown began. These typically offer live streams of Blackjack and Russian Roulette which people can tune in and bet on, plus online poker and slot machines. You can also play real money casino games if you want to. This is set to be the more popular option as we move towards the future of online gambling.

National Lottery

Having a National Lottery is a longstanding tradition in the United Kingdom and other countries. However, this business in the gambling industry has also been impacted by the global pandemic. People are no longer going to their local shop to purchase a lottery ticket because this is considered unnecessary travel and involves exchanging the tickets by hand, which could spread germs. This has resulted in a surge of National Lottery tickets being purchased online or using the National Lottery app. This reduces contact and speeds up the process of buying a ticket. As more people are using this method and seeing its benefits, we could see a sustained increase in National Lottery services being used online.

The biggest change to the gambling industry following lockdown will be the shift to online platforms. Sports betting will return once events are up and running again, but casinos and bingo halls will likely be closing. Make sure to keep an eye on this industry to see how things change in the future.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan