Of all the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are few that have been dealt as hard a blow as the entertainment industry. With harsh lockdown measures in place across the globe, and with no end in sight to the restrictions, the entertainment industry is bracing itself for a long, harsh winter.
Certain industries, however, have not only managed to withstand the harshest effects of the lockdown but have also managed to flourish in spite of it. A number of key industries have seen the obvious increases in revenue that we might expect, given the nature of the lockdown measures in place. These include the food retail and grocery sectors. However, less obvious sectors have also seen remarkable increases in business.
One of these is the casino and online gambling industry, which, despite physical casinos and betting shops closing their doors to customers many months ago, have posted record increases in turnover. In fact, if OnlineCasinoListings.com and similar sites are anything to go by, interest in online casinos is at an all-time high!
As evidence of this industry trend, analysts are predicting the online casino and gambling industry to grow from an estimated global market size of around $58.9bn in 2019 to $66.7bn by the end of 2020. This would mean that the industry would experience a staggering 13.2% growth – a figure that completely bucks the trend of essentially every other sector and market during the COVID-19 crisis.
What is behind this massive surge in growth?
Firstly, it should be noted that while this sudden increase in the popularity of online casinos is remarkable given the wider economic context of the pandemic, this emerging trend is in many respects reflective of a trend that has been underway for quite some time. In fact, if the industry stats from the last few years are anything to go by, with more and more players switching from land-based casinos to online ones, the COVID-19 pandemic has simply accelerated a change that was already well underway.
The second factor in this growth pattern relates to the demographics and age range of casino fans. While online casinos have been the method of choice for younger casino fans for many years now, this has not been the case for an older demographic of player that prefers the physical casino setting. The restrictions put in place during the pandemic have changed this, however, as this older demographic is more at risk when it comes to catching the potentially deadly virus. As such, the closure of physical casinos has forced older casino-goers online. While this doesn’t necessarily explain the increased figures alone, it does help us to understand part of it.
Finally, the third factor behind the surge in popularity of online casinos relates to the sheer boredom of having to socially distance and stay at home. There is no denying the fact that lockdowns, while completely necessary for public health reasons, do little to stimulate the mind. With this in mind, many of us are looking for ways to pass the time. For many people around the world, online casinos have provided the perfect form of escapism. As such, major online casinos are reporting record-breaking numbers of new users signing up to their platforms.