What happens to the online gaming business during a pandemic?

Serge Jones
April 27, 2020

Very rapidly and without any warnings Coronavirus has sunk the world into a new reality with closed borders, remote work and canceled events. It is the first time when sitting at home you can save the planet.


It is also the hard time for every business. T-shirts featuring virus, wheat, and toilet paper molecules, books on the Ebola epidemic, and condom advertising mentioning the fictional Chinese province of Gang Dong help companies build loyal audiences and drive sales. All fun and games, yet the worst is still to come. The unending curiosity in coronavirus was faced by even fast-food chains, airlines and instant messengers.


What is going to happen? How to react to everything after this pandemic will fall? There is no clarity yet, and the only advice is to watch over China. According to various sources, they are already emerging from the crisis meaning what they will have will be with us with a delay of 2-3 months and on a scale “divided by 10”

What about the online business including gambling?

As for those who used to gamble and visit casinos regularly, this is all in the past. At least till the outbreak is over, yet not even, since different countries manage pandemic in their own way. In fact, one of the largest gambling hubs in Macau has been closed for weeks now without any notice to when it’s going to work normally. So what happens to all the people who gamble?

Studies show a dramatic rise in online gambling during COVID-19 lockdowns. Ironically enough, e-sports and mobile games are doing very well. The online gambling casino has great advantages over its land-based competitors. It makes total sense since people are locked down at homes, without much interaction, so they play games, and when they have money, they will begin to spend more and more on them. This is why the next step is the legalization of this matter. 

As for the USA online gambling law, it is getting pushed to allow more platforms. This deals with a massive revenue loss from the on-land casinos and the fact of people being left without their gambling places. So far, the list of online gambling is not too long yet there are a few reputable ones which you can try while on lockdown. Slot machines is one of them. 

What do studies show?

According to a government survey, US citizens have already saved up from being at home. Now the main question is where to spend it all? As I have mentioned before, there is not much interaction or let’s say “fun” activities while on lockdown, plus people strive for new feelings or at least old good adrenaline. And what is going to help if not online gambling!

Another example comes from Australian surveys. AlphaBeta statistics firm has shown a 67% growth in the online casino business in the previous month (March). This is a separate statistic from actual land casinos that were shut down due to the COVID 19 lockdown.

These numbers are based on the evidence of transactions of 250,000 Australian consumers. They show the online gambling industry as one of the biggest winners of the lockdown, side by side with services such as food delivery, up 63%, and online retail and subscription services, up 61%.

With all this in mind, as a result of the virus, the online casino industry which is already a robust one is expected to see a growth in traffic. Physiologically speaking people are not only bored but stressed, isolated and with no actual income…so turning to online casinos might be another type of remedy for some, even a self-therapy.  

While doing my research on this subject I came across Vents Magazine. They did a study on how coronavirus has impacted (so far) iGambling market. 

So, basically, they showed us the downflow regarding such operators in the field of gambling as:

  • Flutter Entertainment (they owe Paddy Power Betfair) has experienced a drop of a quarter in their shares;
  • William Hill (UK bookmaking company) shares have grown more than half since February 2020;
  • Playtech, one of the world’s leading casino software providers, has also suffered from a sharp drop in their stock value (over 15%).

So one must take into consideration not only the fact of being lockdown and bored but also hesitant and suspicious to spend money during these uncertain times.

What online casinos can do?

Besides offering a good quality experience, they must look into their bonus program. Even though most of them (if not every) do have a very rich bonus offering in today’s world it is crucial to attracting more players by increasing “thank you for registering” or some other loyalty programs. Good advice comes from a senior manager of William Hill who urges to explain customers new ways of betting, for instance, betting on unusual kinds of sports. By saying this, he means online gambling must think out of the box and become creative. 

Obviously, COVID 19 is a pure human tragedy that affects us. The result of the pandemic will be seen only after some time. What is clear is that online business, remote work and services will only grow exponentially. So the amount of potential online casinos and e-sport will definitely get bigger. 

Which leads me to another point, competition. But that is a subject for a completely different article. For now, stay safe both physically and financially. 


About the Author

Share this article