The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected almost every industry in the world today, particularly the sports betting industry. The online casino industry as well as the Bitcoin casinos, on the brighter side of things, continues to attract customers around the globe due to its features and offerings that go beyond the boundaries of technology and require no physical contact.
Let’s take a global look at several studies that tackle the online gambling industry in 2020 and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic to the online gambling community.
Dominant Players In 2020
A recent study conducted by Hongchun Research, a global market research firm and management consulting company, revealed the top key players in the online gambling industry in 2020. From online casino operators to sportsbooks, here are the companies dominating the market today amid the pandemic:
- Playtech Plc.
- NetEnt AB
- William Hill
- Amaya, Inc
- Stars Group
- GVC Holdings
- 888 Holdings
- Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc
- Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG
- Kindred Group
- Fortuna Entertainment Group
- Paddy Power
- Draft Kings
Online casino providers like Playtech, NetEnt, and Amaya Gaming entered several partnerships and territories this year. Sportsbook-centered providers like Bettson, William Hill, and Paddy Power managed to get back on track with the return of major sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB.
Behavior And Trends
Online gaming trends and behaviors are evolving despite the repercussions of the pandemic. Several countries where physical gambling establishments are legal saw a decline in sales. This situation allowed online gambling channels to thrive.
A study published by researchers Rick Brown and Amelia Hickman on the Statistical Bulletin of the Australian Institute of Criminology revealed that online gambling saw a 67% increase in consumer transactions due to lockdown restrictions in the country.
“With recent restrictions on social interactions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the shutdown of gambling venues in Australia and restrictions limiting people’s movements outside of their homes (Australian Government Department of Health 2020), gambling has become limited to online channels. In the week ending 29 March, AlphaBeta (2020) recorded a 67 percent increase in consumer transactions relating to online gambling,” the study said.
A recent study published on the Nature Public Health Emergency Collection targeted players from Sweden, Germany, Finland, and Norway to investigate the impact of the pandemic on online casinos and sportsbooks. The study found out that the sportsbook industry declined, but many sportsbooks players didn’t shift to online casinos:
“There was a significant decrease in the amount of money wagered by sports bettors during the COVID-19 pandemic (compared with before it) and that sports bettors did not switch to playing more online casino games and that there was also a significant reduction in playing online casino games among sports bettors.”
In the UK, several reports and studies recognized the rise in mobile gambling on platforms like Bet365, SkyBet, and William Hill. Bet365 alone saw over 20,500,000 gamers in action last April.
Predictions For 2020 And Beyond
Frequent and new bettors are seen to be more active when stuck at home. The pandemic and several studies proved that. For that reason, there’s no denying that the future is bright for the online gambling industry.
A study published in Vietnam Briefing said that foreign mobile casino games are dominating the global market, but local providers in their respective territories may expect growth in the future.
“Mobile games developed by foreign gaming giants dominate the market, but opportunities exist in other sub-sectors including locally-developed casual games,” Vietnamese researcher Julia Nguyen said.
From a global perspective, a recent report from Global Market Insights, Inc. revealed that online poker is one of the most popular online gambling variants recognized by young casino players in various countries.
“Online poker has gained considerable popularity amongst youngsters. Poker has witnessed increased acceptance in the U.S., the UK, China, and other European nations, and is projected to gain immense traction in India over the coming years,” the report said.
Despite positive reports from researchers around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic blurs the future. More reports, trends, and behavioral changes are expected to come to the surface once the pandemic ends.