It’s hard to deny that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our day-to-day lives. The way we shop, work, learn, and enjoy our free time has undergone some extreme changes.
The UK government opted to shut down operations for many non-essential businesses.
Among those affected were businesses that provide entertainment – including gambling establishments. How did those closures affect casinos here in the UK? Keep reading to learn more about the loss and gain seen by land-based and virtual casinos.
Closure of Land-Based Casinos
Land-based casinos are a major source of both individual entertainment and economic profit in the UK. Thousands of people gamble on a daily basis, where they can enjoy playing games and spending time with other people. Naturally, such gambling establishments call for close quarters.
In response to the pandemic, all casinos in England were closed between March 20 to August 15 of this year. Scottish and Welsh casinos followed soon after. The reopening has occurred with added protections in place to help protect gamblers and staff alike.
Not only are many UK players glad to have their betting venues reopen, but those who work in the casino sector are, too. Nearly 12,000 employees were laid off during the summer. This has majorly impacted those workers on a personal level and gambling businesses in general.
Many casinos are glad to reopen their doors. However, some gamblers aren’t flocking in as fast as business owners expected. Which begs the question: where have they gone?
Increased Popularity of Online Gambling
Online gambling has been a popular form of entertainment for nearly two decades. Each year, this sector of the economy grows. The international online gambling industry is worth a whopping £4 billion!
The pandemic has certainly led many passionate gamblers to move toward online casinos. This surge in remote gambling can be attributed to three key factors, the first of which is obvious.
No Social Distancing Required
Remote wagering platforms are already socially distant, as you play within the confines of your own home. Those who were unable to visit establishments in person understandably sought out alternatives. Even now, players who are worried about the lingering threat of Covid-19 are choosing to stay home.
Ability to Evaluate Businesses
The online gambling industry has been on the rise for years. With it, review platforms and informational articles have increased in production and popularity. Any layman can search for a BGO or Greenplay Casino review where any layman would be able to learn anything they want to know.
These reviews include the wagering platform’s security, licensing, and legitimacy. Beyond that, potential clients are able to quickly evaluate the games and payments available, which aids in decision-making. This brings us to our final point: payments.
This year has encouraged many people to switch over to digital banking. A switch from cash to credit cards and e-wallets can be seen in most business sectors. On the other hand, online casinos have always accepted digital payments and have easy, contactless systems in place.
Some players who used to gamble exclusively at land-based casinos have realized the benefits of playing digitally. It’s more secure, and most casino sites are willing to credit deposits immediately.
The Future of UK Gambling
It’s hard to say for certain where the gambling industry is headed overall. As the pandemic fades, will casino owners see the influx of customers they are so desperate for? Or will players stick to the convenience and safety offered by gambling websites?