How Lockdown Has Affected The Gambling Industry

The whole world has been in and out of lockdowns over the past 12 months, which has meant that business has suffered immeasurably. No matter whether you own a local corner shop or a bar or restaurant, the effects from the past 12 months has been felt by everybody. The same goes for the gambling industry, which has been rocked in the United Kingdom with closures. But, what has the impact of the lockdown in the UK been like on the casinos and bookmakers?

 

Casinos Closed

In March, the announcement by Boris Johnson signalled the closure for casinos in the United Kingdom, as cities around the country were being encouraged to spend all their time at home. The announcement meant that the floors that were previously full at the country’s biggest casinos were left bare, and there was no clear end point in sight. The casinos were able to re-open their doors once again after the measures were eased later in the year, but only limited numbers of people were able to be admitted into the establishment. It was largely down to the fact that cards were handed over quickly, which meant that the relevant hygiene procedures couldn’t be in place to stop the transmission.

Many experts believed that the closures of land-based casinos would have had an impact on the number of gamblers that moved to online options, such as Merkur. However, YouGov research has found that there was only an increase of 0.4% of people gambling that hadn’t previously. Meanwhile, the same research found that 2.1% of the people that carried out the research had stopped gambling altogether. Data collected by player accounts also indicated that there was a decrease between April and May of 1.2%. There was a jump again when sports events began to open back up again later in May.

Impact Of Live Sports Events

The research found that there was an increase of 13% when the German Bundesliga resumed in the middle of May. The sports betting industry was one of the hardest hit during the lockdown, as huge events such as the Grand National and the Premier League was cancelled. That led to a dip of 1% participation during the first lockdown, before it rose again to 5% when the Premier League resumed along with other elite sports.

Meanwhile, the participation that gamblers had with virtual sports went in the opposite direction, with 3% during the first lockdown. That could have been predominantly down to the Virtual Grand National that took place, with all of the proceeds going to the NHS. The number of gamblers participating in virtual sports soon dipped once the elite sports resumed, with the number dropping to 1% in the latest research carried out.

 

New Lockdown Announcement

 

The latest announcement of another lockdown would have come as a disappointing blow for the betting industry, as casinos, bingo halls and betting shops were once again forced to close their doors. It is unknown at present how long the current lockdown in the United Kingdom could last for, with Johnson admitting that the middle of February could be a potential end.

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