The Covid-19 crisis still remains a big problem in society today. Even as the daily recovery rate climbs and infections rates drop, things are yet to get back to normal. In the advent of the pandemic, most governments of the world imposed lockdowns to help slow down infections. For most people, this meant they were confined to their homes, out-of-reach of the outside world. With so much time and very few activities to engage in, it is not hard to see why many would indulge in online gambling.
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Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns On the Online Gambling Market
The online gambling industry was hit by the same wave that hit land-based casinos, but this time, in a positive direction. As land-based casino memberships dropped, online casinos saw an unexpected increase in the number of signups mainly due to the lockdown that left people with little or nothing to do. Experts believe that the Covid-19 lockdown would boost the online gambling market by 13.2%.
This represents a growth from $58.9 billion in 2019 to $66.7 billion in 2020 which signals an increase in participation. Seasoned vets that have been used to the thrills, sights, and atmosphere of land-based options have turned to online casino platform to engage in their favorite sport. Online casinos have seen an influx from not only die-hard land-based customers but also other types of players.
Players who prefer to bet on sports, rather than relying on luck in a game of roulette, have taken to online casinos to kill time and probably make a few bucks while at it. According to the UK Gambling Commission, there has been a surge in the use of online casinos with online slots and poker seeing a 25% and 38% increase respectively.
What Are Online Casinos Offering?
Online casinos are famous for their generous packages which are hard to come by in land-based casinos. While land-based operators usually show more gratitude to big spenders, online casinos treat every player equally, offering them a chance to choose their bonuses and prizes. The Covid-19 lockdown has led to unprecedented growth in the online gambling market.
This means there are more people out there searching for the best online casinos with massive game selection, multiple bonus packages, and reliable customer support to sign up on. To that effect, it is expected that online casinos double their offers to attract new potential customers. However, things seem to be pretty much the same with these casinos, though most casinos have seen a sharp increase in participation regardless.
Few casinos, as seen on Casinokokemus, seem to be taking a different approach by updating their incentives to meet with the current requirements of the online casino industry. These casinos offer better match bonuses, free spins, and other promotional offers to attract players and to get their existing players hooked.
Gambling Addiction and Covid-19
With more time on their hands, players are more likely to spend too much time and resources on gambling. While there is no regulatory body to take note of just how much time players expend on online casinos, it is safe to say that a notable number goes overboard and experience significant losses.
Some online casinos aim to salvage the whole situation by offering a whole bunch of attractive bonuses to new players and tons of promotional offers to old players in a bid to reduce losses. These incentives could be as little as $250 and as high as $1,500 in some casinos. Unfortunately, things don’t always go that way and for many players, they end up losing not only their bonus but also their deposit funds.
This is usually due to the fact that players are so drawn to the fact that they could double their funds by signing up, and somehow, they fail to take note of the wagering requirements, the validity period of the bonus, and the win limits of the bonus. Players would end up chasing losses to recoup their deposit funds and in the process, incur more losses and probably get addicted.
Fortunately, regulators like the UK Gambling Commission and members of the Betting and Gambling Council in London have introduced measures to help prevent an escalation. These measures include the removal and/or limitation of ads related to online gambling to help protect vulnerable people from indulging in gambling habits.
What You Can Do To Prevent Gambling Addiction During COVID-19 lockdown?
If you find yourself spending a few cents on a slot game every now and then, and you think you are becoming addicted, it is important that you limit your usage or stop altogether. You can adopt any of these methods to prevent addiction.
1. Track Your Spending
Online casinos allow you to spend as little as $0.5 on a single bet. While that may seem very small, you might find yourself spending 100% more in a few minutes, especially if you are a slot lover. The best way to handle your gambling habits is to keep a record of your spending. Before you power on your device and login to your favorite online casino, make a decision on how much you are willing to spend on a game and how much time you would spend gambling for that session.
2. Engage In Other Activities
Engaging in other activities is easier said than done when you’re living in a confined space, but there are definitely better ways to have fun than on an online casino. You could put more effort into your hobbies; read a book, watch a movie, write a book, learn to code, or do something that would keep your mind busy and off the casino.
3. Join Virtual Peer groups
Virtual peer groups are just like regular peers group, but this time, everything is streamed online. With the Covid-19 pandemic crippling businesses and restricting movement for most people in the world, virtual peer groups are the closest you can get to relating and communicating with people with similar interests. By joining a virtual peer group, you’re left with little time to spare on gambling.
Gambling and alcohol addiction is a dangerous mix.