The global epidemic of coronavirus seems to have affected virtually every industry, in almost every corner of the world. The COVID-19 crisis also had a dramatic influence on the global gambling business. As humanity was forced to observe social distance rules and restricted from visiting public places, many brick-and-mortar gaming venues (casino facilities, poker clubs, horseracing tracks, and lottery outlets) have been closed. Sports events have also been ubiquitously cancelled, making it impossible to partake in betting.
But all these restrictions have not stopped the people’s natural desire to pursue leisure and seek thrills, and as a consequence, the segment of iGaming has surged in growth. The pandemic and the universal lockdown that followed it have resulted in a sharp increase in visitors to Internet casinos and iGaming platforms.
Since people were caged up within four walls of their homes and had nothing interesting to do, many started vesting interest in online games. Many online casino sites have experienced a massive rise in new subscribers. Regular players, deprived of the opportunity to try their luck in land-based establishments, have also started playing online, marking a paradigm shift in how the traditional gambling organisations used to function. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit even invested in iGaming software and decided to buy a poker website or create their own online casino platform to cash in on that trend.
Surely, iGaming is still heavily stigmatized by many people. Yet, the financial benefits from it are not to be underestimated. As the online gambling sector is expanding, and clients become more tech-savvy, the quality of online gambling websites will only improve. Regular system updates, the incorporation of new features (such as the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments), enhanced security, and greater ease of use are what existing and future online casino platforms will offer to their clients.
iGaming operators are enjoying greater fortunes during this global COVID-19 slump, while their engagement rates are as high as never before. The services of casino game development companies also have demand as iGaming operators need sophisticated entertainment software to meet the needs of discerning clients.
It seems that the iGaming sector is likely to be one of the very rare industries that have easily survived the global pandemic without having financial losses that other business sectors, including land-based casino establishments, indeed encounter.
Pandemic-Related Challenges of iGaming Business
Despite its growing popularity, the gambling industry is constantly facing an ever-changing regulatory environment. Governments around the world are clamping down on such organisations by introducing new regulatory restrictions, such as a ban on gambling advertising in Italy and a reduced maximum stake for slot machines in Great Britain.
As gambling opportunities have become more accessible today, and their visibility has vastly increased (for example, greater visibility of video lottery terminals (VLT) in Italy, or the emergence of many new fixed-odds betting terminals in the UK), this led to increased concern about the available protections of vulnerable players and measures to prevent potentially addictive gambling behaviour.
Many legal, fully licensed real-world casinos migrated online so as not to lose their clients during times of uncertainty. This translated into the truth that many licensed gambling operators have all the rights to advertise their services on TV and social media, trying to build awareness and take on the market.
The picture is as follows. All ground-based gambling parlours were closed all of a sudden, and major sporting events around the world were suspended, signifying a lasting downtime in the entire industry. Add to this that millions of people were suddenly stuck in their homes, without engaging in social activities and spending money in restaurants, pubs, and theatres – the obvious scenario was that individuals would be searching for available alternatives to have fun and seize on every opportunity that comes to hand.
In such a context, iGaming looked like a panacea for boredom, offering all sorts of delights, including casino titles, lottery tickets, board games, slot machines, online poker rooms, live dealer activities, and sports betting (the possibility to bet on incomes of cybersports was heavily appreciated by bettors).
Physically isolated almost 24/7, many enthusiasts got seriously carried away by gambling and started showing signs of dependence, while the problem had even aggravated in individuals with existing gambling problems.
Gambling, which is a leisure activity for most people, can harm the player, their families, and society. This is thought to be a potentially addictive behaviour that can lead to gaming disorder (GD) in some individuals. GD is characterized by the continuation of gambling despite the negative consequences, the increased priority of gambling in comparison with other vital life interests, and the violation of control over-involvement in gambling.
It Is Not As Bad As It Sounds
As the world begins to recover from uniform lockdown, gambling establishments are gradually reopening or preparing to reopen in jurisdictions around the world. But no one can answer this question yet when these venues will be able to operate as usual. –. Meanwhile, the attention of regulators and players has almost completely shifted to iGaming.
Even before the COVID-19 world depression, the online gambling industry had been working hard to implement more stringent and effective measures to ensure that gambling would not harm players. Both regulators and casino operators did their best and quickest to adapt to a new reality called lockdown, taking active steps toward promoting safer gambling practices and making their casino games less harmful.
We can see that reputable online casino platforms as well as well-established casino game development companies such as EvenBet Gaming are implementing robust responsible iGaming technologies into their products to ensure the gambling experience brings fun, not problems. Imposing daily betting caps and preventing young individuals from entering a gaming website are just some of the numerous methods of how the best casino and poker software providers are endeavouring to minimise potential harm during the pandemic.
Whether provided in a real-world or online format, the gambling business is an integral part of the worldwide economy: it creates new job opportunities, helps to foster the creation of new IT technologies, and satisfies the people’s natural need for entertainment. The industry seems to stay, and both casino game development organisations and governments have a vested interest in making gambling safer.
For nearly 20 years, EvenBet Gaming, one of the best-known poker software providers of modernity, has been developing and implementing technologies to facilitate a responsible gambling approach in the industry. We are designing top-notch, AI-powered, data-driven solutions to enable iGaming operators to easily identify and evaluate player risk so that they never admit unhealthy gambling behaviours on their online casino platforms.
Our personalised messaging tools notify players of unsafe gambling patterns, so that a person is always encouraged to make a safer gambling choice. Moreover, as we are partnering with the leading casino game developers, we make joint efforts to ensure new casino games are less addictive to vulnerable groups of players.
To decrease risky behaviours, EvenBet Gaming also designs turnkey poker software with a social interaction component. It means that players do not feel totally isolated from society and can interact with like-minded people during an online poker game.
These difficult times have taught the casino industry to prioritise player protection, without compromising the quality of fun people want to enjoy. As a white label poker software provider, thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of our teams, EvenBet Gaming is able to deliver the most advanced and secure online casino development solutions on the market, helping our customers meet the challenge and ensure safer iGaming.