Across the world, 26% of our population participate in online gambling, generating a gross revenue of approximately $59.6 billion this year alone. Each year, as access to the online world increases and technological developments enable enhanced gaming experiences, the online gaming industry has continued to grow, in which today there are a record number of gambling providers online. While competition is tough, these vendors have so far thrived, with new games, experiences and offers popping up on a daily basis to entice new customers.
Yet 2020 seems to have thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. With the introduction of the new gambling payment law in Spring and the on-going pandemic that has not only posed harsh conditions on the gambling industry but the whole economy, online gambling growth has stopped in it’s tracks. So what are online gambling providers doing to keep the market alive?
The effects of COVID-19
While COVID-19 has caused detrimental effects to many parts of the global economy this year, with banks ceasing to lend, retailers being forced to close their doors, and consumers losing large proportions of their disposable income; the gambling industry is one of those bearing the brunt of the effects.
While online gambling generates just over a third of the gambling industry’s revenue in the UK, brick and mortar venues generate almost two thirds; many of which are on high streets throughout Great Britain. However, the March lockdown and most recently, the November lockdown have meant that these venues have been forced to close their doors to the public. The effects of this of course have been job lay-offs, reduced revenue and a shaky future.
Many had hoped that the closure of brick and mortar venues would encourage consumers to visit online gaming sites such as these ones on bestcasinosites.net where some of the best new gambling sites could provide an opportunity for players to still get their gambling fix during the lockdown.
In light of the situation, consumer research is showing that we are not seeing a rise in online gambling during the pandemic and this can be attributed to a few reasons. According to statistics from the UK Gambling Commission, only 0.4% of adults have started gambling in the past 4 weeks. One of the main factors affecting this is that 40% of households have seen a decrease in their monthly income during the pandemic, meaning people have had to tighten their belts and cut back on leisure and entertainment activities, gambling being included.
The new payment restrictions
As the gambling industry faces a number of current challenges, the recent restriction on using credit cards as a form of payment has created yet another hurdle for the industry. Brought in as a measure to protect vulnerable consumers, the UK gambling Commission has described the move as an act to “minimise the risk of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”
While statistics show that 22% of gamblers who use a credit card to participate are vulnerable customers, 78% of gamblers were using their credit cards to play responsibly. Thankfully, as technology has developed, there are now a variety of new ways to pay that online gambling vendors are able to offer to their customers.
What is online gambling sites doing to attract and retain customers?
New ways to pay
While the market may be tough at the moment, online gaming providers are doing a great deal to ensure they attract new customers and retain existing ones. One of the major ways they are doing this is with the introduction of crypto currencies as a form of payment. As credit cards are no longer an accepted payment method, many vendors are welcoming the likes of Bitcoin and other major crypto currency payments that not only introduce more convenience to players, but also add a new level of privacy and protection.
Bridging the gap between the online and physical worlds
In addition, there are now new and highly immersive ways to play the much-loved brick and mortar casino games online, through the likes of Virtual Reality technology. VR is bridging the gap between the physical and online gambling words, encouraging new players and seasoned high-street gamblers to take the plunge and dip their toe in the world of online casino games.
There’s a new generation of online players that are in it for more than just getting lucky. Today’s generation of online gambling players are looking to make a profit and to do so, they want to improve their gaming skills. As a result, online casino providers are being pushed to provide more game like experiences that entice the younger generations.
Overall, there have been a number of challenges thrown upon the gambling industry this year, from the restrictions caused by the pandemic, to the ban on credit card payments and the economic strain on both consumers and providers. However, it seems that gaming provider still have a number of white rabbits in their hats for 2021.