Many businesses in the gambling industry felt the impact of the global pandemic. Casinos and other gambling establishments closed in March and still haven’t resumed regular business hours in many countries. The BBC also reported that gambling shops suffered from the lack of customers and problem gamblers are noting a return to past activities. 

With the restriction on land-based casinos, some players have changed to placing bets at an online casino instead. Join us as Jordan Carry, an expert in online casinos, tells us more about the impact the global pandemic has on the gambling industry.

Effects of the Pandemic on the Casino Industry

The casino industry took an enormous hit after the mandatory closing of many bet shops. All gambling venues closed on March 20th in the UK. The national lottery remained open, but this accounts for a small part of this industry. 

A report from the UK Gambling Commission shows that the overall number of gamblers decreased immediately after the lockdown. You can read the full article on their site, but here we’ll discuss some critical findings from March to July. 

Like many gambling sectors, the casino industry has been affected significantly by the closures and restrictions set in place by national governments. It’s too early to know what the exact totals are, but we’ll have an idea of what those numbers are by the end of the year. 

If researchers and experts are correct, the industry will continue to grow at a rapid rate despite the setbacks of the pandemic. This growth may not be in the casino business specifically but likely bound to online activities. 

Consumer Trends

The official report from the UK Gambling Commission sheds light on customer trends in this market during 2020. According to the article, many operators have seen a decrease in slots and sports betting from March to April. 

Surprisingly, numbers of consumers that are participating in online gambling have decreased since the start of the lockdown period. Some areas of online gaming have increased, though. 

From April to May, fewer users disclosed participating in online gambling. What has increased is the amount of money that consumers are spending and the amount of TV and on-demand entertainment they’re consuming. 

The number of different gambling activities has increased for regular gamblers. Slots, real event betting and virtual betting, increased significantly from April to May. 

This is in contrast to the fact that gamblers indicate a slight decrease or no change in the number of products they play. However, they do report spending more time and money on one product in April. This increase was most significant in real event betting, which increased by 60%, most likely due to the Bundesliga.  

The numbers also show a resistance to moving to online operators. Traditional sports bettors and gamblers tend to be wary of online gambling activities. They prefer traditional settings like the national lottery, traditional casinos and live sporting events. This is a positive trend for brick-and-mortar casinos who are one of the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reopening of land-based establishments will no doubt affect gambler’s behaviour. What remains unseen is the extent to which the number of gamblers will bounce back. 

Future Trends

The full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the casino business is tough to quantify. National research centres are working to create a clear picture of the current situation. Problem gambling is a real concern with the increase in time spent alone and the number of people who relate feeling lonely. 

The UK Gambling Commission will monitor the situation with national surveys and online trackers. As the reopening of establishments and live sporting events resume, operators will likely see an increase in the number of gamblers. 


All sectors of the economy felt the impact of the global pandemic. Local and national governments continue to enforce preventative measures and businesses are only just starting to reopen. The return to regular business is unlikely soon, and entrepreneurs will have to find ways to innovate online.