Pandemic Gambling: What Happened?
The world had come to a standstill during the height of the pandemic. However, some businesses have come to adapt. Some even thrived better, thanks to their adaptability. Some of these businesses were in entertainment, commerce, and retail. But that also leads to something: what about gambling?
How did the gambling industry fare during the pandemic? In many ways, the pandemic affected the gambling industry. Some of the ways that the pandemic was tangible in the industry were through these ways:
Higher Gambling Activity
One way that the pandemic affected the gambling industry was its rates. In 2021, the gambling industry bloomed unlike any other. Tourists deprived of the premiere gambling experience returned to the Las Vegas strip and other casinos within the USA.
The casinos in Nevada are now expecting better and bigger returns. According to their officials, they had amassed $12.3 billion in total winnings in the first 11 months of the year and according to the American Gaming Association, even Colorado and Michigan had received a large
elevation of increases. Colorado and Michigan, in particular, were less gambling-centric than Las Vegas.
Sports and online betting are the usual bread and butter for explosive growth. In totality, they only comprise fifteen (15) percent of gross gaming revenue on a national scale. According to the American Gaming Association, in-person slots and table games drove the industry’s recovery. However, in 2020, the industry suffered from a 30-percent slump 2020. The pandemic had also caused it.
According to Michael Lawton, a senior economist with Nevada’s Gaming Control Board, he had expected 2021 to surpass Nevada’s record for annual casino winning. There was already a record of $12.3 billion in the first 11 months of the year — just $550 million short of the record since 2007.
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Another growth of the industry was the rise of digital platforms for gambling. In the UK, the HM Revenue and Customs saw an increase of 33%. The increase had come from remote gambling duty. In addition, plenty of statistics supported the growth of online gambling.
These statistics included the following:
- 21 % of adults in the UK stated they gambled online during 2019 (last year, it was 18%)
- 0.5% of adults reported and assessed to have a gambling problem in the UK during 2018
- In the UK, 30% of online gamblers have increased their participation
- In Australia, 60% of online gamblers reduced their while 45% elevated their activities
Poor Mental Health
Lastly, another trend that occurred during the pandemic with gambling is poor mental health. Alex Price, Ph.D., Senior Researcher at the Center for Advancement of Best Practices and The Responsible Gambling Council, studied this topic.
According to his findings, increased gambling during the pandemic with gambling problems and increased alcohol consumption was linked to increased gambling. In addition, higher depression, anxiety, and depression were associated with gambling. Also included were addictive behaviors and substance use.
In addition, those who did not gamble online had a milder form of anxiety. Meanwhile, 12% experienced moderately severe to severe depression.
The pandemic also had its effects on its industry stakeholders. However, the industry has since been on track to a full recovery.