In the midst of a global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus, there’s one industry that has become more in-demand – online gambling. Other businesses are floundering and filing for bankruptcy, yet more and more people are getting into online gambling.
Here are some reasons that explain why COVID gambling has become such a hit:
- People Have Been Isolated for Extended Periods of Time
When people go into isolation, all that they can hear are their thoughts. If these are positive thoughts of affirmation, then there’s no problem with that. However, if the person has negative thoughts that eat away at their self-esteem, confidence, and hope for a better future, then online gambling might become their past time. They may want to have something happening, just to avoid thinking about how isolated they are during quarantine lockdown.
The growth in online gambling is actually happening all over the world. One country that’s benefitting from this increased foray into online gambling is the UK and Bulgaria since their clients have been patronizing it even in pre-pandemic times. They even acknowledge online gambling as one of their best industries.
- People Have Digital Technologies Available to Initiate Gambling Online
The Internet is readily available, especially with some communities blessed with free wireless Internet access. Since people may be isolated at home, they may choose to explore the Internet to pass the time. This may allow them to venture into online gambling. The thrill of placing a bet in a game of blackjack and avidly watching a roulette wheel spin will always be there.
The question is: how far will a neophyte gambler go, considering online gambling is readily available? Some people are disciplined enough to know when they’ve reached their betting limit and can easily walk away from online gambling. Unfortunately, others are not.
- People May Be Tempted to Use Their Government Payout for Gambling Online
There are governments that issue a payout to their citizens so that the latter can buy their basic necessities during the current pandemic. One problem is that those who receive this payout may use it for other purposes instead, such as online gambling.
A similar temptation is when financial institutions give a mortgage holiday to their clients. The funds not collected by financial institutions are meant to give their clients some space to survive. Unfortunately, some people use this extra money for online gambling.
- Some People are Psychologically Inclined To Go into Online Gambling
Some markers may help you determine if you’re at risk for developing a gambling problem.
For instance, if you’re having financial setbacks, then you might turn to online gambling, hoping fervently that you’ll have that great lucky win to solve your financial problems. You might still be battling addiction to other stuff, like illegal drugs or liquor, so subconsciously you turn to gambling to feed the addiction urge. You might also be depressed and stressed out because you lost your job so you might indulge in online gambling as an escape.
The whole pandemic situation may leave you feeling like your world is rapidly spinning out of your control, so you try online gambling because at least you have some control over the money you have left. You might also have a tendency to get carried away when placing bets, losing track of how much money you have lost or won.
If these sound like your current motivation and observable behavior, you may have to check yourself.
- People May Be Afraid of The Spread of the Covid-19 Illness
The pandemic can trigger a change of behavior, especially if people feel afraid that they might contract the virus. Online gambling can be one activity that you’re confident you can control. So, you tend to spend more and more time participating in online gambling to escape from your fear of contracting the virus.
If you have family and friends who have been downed by COVID-19, that will just escalate your panic. So, you might indulge in online gambling so that you won’t have to think of what may happen to you, health-wise.
- Some Gamblers Are Just Bored
Boredom can be a potent trigger for venturing into online gambling. After all, you can only watch so many TV shows and movies before you feel the urge to do something more interesting.
Since gambling sites are so easy to sign up for, many may opt to go exploring this realm. As long as you have the means to pay for your gambling activities, online casinos will definitely accept you as their new customer.
The problem is that gambling might become your go-to activity every time you feel bored. And, you might not realize it but you may be spending quite a bit to keep on gambling, which is the danger there.
Long Term Prospects for the Online Gambling Industry
Now that you know some of the reasons that the online gambling industry is growing, you can find out more about the long-term survival of the online gambling industry.
Critics may be attacking the online gambling industry for its role in facilitating the participation of problem gamblers. But, the industry itself will probably survive the pandemic. One source predicts that the US market for online gambling will be worth $102.9 billion by the year 2025. That’s a lot of money that other business owners who are operating in other industries may not realistically be expected to bring in. Since their bricks-and-mortar venues have been shut down, even owners of real-time casinos can only wish for that kind of income for themselves.
Another reason the online gambling industry will probably keep growing is that a new generation of workers is coming of age at this time of the pandemic. As they search for jobs that they can handle, considering the risks posed by COVID-19, they’ll probably be exposed to online gambling ads at some point. This is especially true in the Asia-Pacific region because of the relatively large youth population there, the increased sales of smartphones and the freeing up of legal requirements for online gambling.
This new generation of workers is more adept at using technology, so online gambling apps on their smartphones will be a cinch for them to handle. One report stated that gamblers are now able to use either laptop or desktop computers for downloading casino software so the youth will probably be able to absorb that kind of technology as well. Some of these youth may be attracted to online gambling, so they become the next generation of bettors.
If these young workers handle their income well, there’s no reason why they should be barred from online gambling activities for recreation. They just need help managing their disposable income and gambling hours so that they won’t be addicted to gambling.
Who Else Wins?
Digital Payment Services: The online gambling industry is dependent on the security, ease of use, and lifestyle-enhancing function of digital payment services. The digital payments industry allows bettors to place their bets on the Net during actual sessions of online casinos. At the same time, winners in gambling can receive their winnings through digital payment services.
This means that as long as people are aiming to gamble online, there will be a need for digital payment companies. This is especially true under pandemic conditions wherein everything related to finance is done online to avoid the COVID-19 infection.
Digital payment services are also necessary for the compensation of online gambling employees. There might only be a few employees needed to run an online gambling company, compared to the many who used to man the real-time casinos. But, as long as they’re employed, they stand to enjoy relatively risk-free payments into their bank accounts.
Manufacturers of Consumer Goods and Services: There’s a ripple effect when digital payment services are used for sending out payments to winners and employees. Take note that these are people so they’ll have basic expenses to think of paying for. So, they’ll pay for food, gas money for their cars, electricity and water bills, among many others.
Businesses that deal with these necessities may be able to survive as long as betting winners and online casino employees keep buying what they need.
Government: The government will have its cut through taxes levied upon online casinos and possibly on online gambling winners. The businesses dealing in necessities will also hand over their share of taxes to the government. And gambling industry employees may also have to shoulder taxes.
The amount of taxes to be paid by each will depend on the laws in the country governing local and international gambling.
Financial Services Institutions: Financial services companies, like banks, stand to benefit from online gambling since people will still need a safe haven for their money, especially their winnings. Financial services companies are considered essential businesses even under a pandemic.
Due to the heavy use of technology, it’s now easier for gamblers to tap into their online banking accounts to place bets as well. In addition, there are digital payment services set up by financial institutions as a support service.
Information Technology Companies and Personnel: This category shows that none of the previously mentioned industries would survive without the indispensable IT infrastructure. So, this industry also stands to benefit by much, should online gambling become more accepted and participated in by consumers.
Two trends will influence the role of IT: increased adoption of digital currency and access to websites that offer online gambling options. As more gamblers attempt to replicate the experience of being within a bricks-and-mortar real-time casino, the higher adoption of Virtual Reality technology may also heighten the growth of online gambling.
Since all online gambling can only be done on the best IT hardware and software, computer hardware manufacturers and software developers have an opportunity to cash in on online gambling. A positive user experience will be the main consideration to guide their decisions.
Incidentally, IT personnel will become more prized by their employers when hackers attempt to break into secure and encrypted gaming systems to steal. With a young, talented, skilled, and motivated IT staff on board, IT companies will be more confident that they’ll be able to protect IT systems of online gambling companies and the other industries mentioned here.
TV and Radio Broadcasting Companies and Advertising Companies: These are mentioned as one category because broadcasting companies may accept ads developed by advertising companies for their clients. These clients are online gambling companies who want more customers to go online for their entertainment.
Since the online gambling industry is awash with money from bettors, it shouldn’t be surprising that they can afford to hire advertising companies. Many people are actually drawn to go into online gambling because of such advertising.
Lenders: This refers to financial institutions and private individuals who lend out money. People who regularly gamble may try to borrow money in some way so they can continue betting.
One way to borrow money is to seek a personal loan from banks, with valuable property, such as the borrower’s home, to put up as collateral. Another way to borrow is to go to individuals who can release sizable funds but at a high-interest rate. The borrower may put up small appliances, such as TVs and computers, as collateral.
Though these are legal ways of lending out money, lenders have to be careful not to be too trusting if the money is meant to be used for the borrower’s survival; the borrower may be a problem gambler.
Despite the onset of this devastating pandemic, the future looks bright for online gambling businesses and related industries. There’s a great opportunity to develop the online gambling industry in ways that’ll keep online gamblers safe from this pandemic and any future pandemic.
If the industry leaders heed advice from government and mental health advocates, the persistent problem of problem gamblers can be reduced. This will allow the majority of online gamblers to be able to play without depleting their financial resources or jeopardizing their mental health. This way, everyone wins.