There is no doubting that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact for sectors across the globe, with some areas simply looking to survive and others flourishing from the situation. The gambling sector is one that has been impacted both negatively and positively. When the pandemic first hit, it led to sports events being cancelled and postponed world-wide. You have the likes of the Olympic games and the European championships that were moved to 2021, with the European championships for example being a major betting event when it takes place. With many other sporting events put on hold, this certainly resulted in a negative impact for some areas of the gambling sector, but it also resulted in success for others.
With lockdowns enforced it meant that people were forced to spend extended period of time within their own homes. It resulted in the need for online entertainment increasing and this meant that the online casino and gaming sector saw a surge in the numbers of players. This on top of no sport on the screens, it proved to be a very successful period for the industry and one that has continued through to the present day, as restrictions remain in place. The sports lottery is another example, which had moved online that has been available at a number of land-based establishments and this has proven very popular.
If you also look at statistics across the year, it further backs this up, with sports betting having dropped around 30% from the previous year, backing up the period in which there were no events taking place. On the other hand, you have the likes of slots, which have seen an increase of around 25% and remain one of the most popular forms of gambling world-wide. Virtual betting has also been a field that has seen a real surge in players, which an increase of around 40%.
Another area that has grown has been Poker, showing an increase of around 38%. This includes live poker, and it is a game that has provided a great means of online entertainment for many. Poker has also proven popular, as it offers a social side to the game, so was also going to be one that sees growth in this current situation.
These statistics all show that the gambling sector overall has been positively impacted by the current pandemic. It also came at a time when the industry was already seeing growth and it will now be fascinating with the future, with innovative technologies also now being released that could impact this. A key example being VR casinos, that are also being predicted to be a complete game changer for the online casino industry.