The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the gambling industry in almost all countries throughout the world, including Great Britain. However, what about consumers? Did their behavior change during the lockdown?
The UK Gambling Commission has provided the 2020 report, highlighting the major aspects of the industry. Of course, the pandemic’s impact was among the key topics for consideration. According to gambling news from the report, not so many UK citizens, as it was expected, started to gamble. However, it doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any changes during the lockdown. The Gambling Commission has provided information about market customers, their behavior, and habits.
Consumer research: COVID-19 impact and main insights
First of all, it is worth mentioning that while making an analysis, researchers have divided the period into three phases: 1 (from the end of March to the middle of June), 2 (from the middle of June to the period when the lockdown has started to ease), and the current phase (from October).
As the report shows, during the first phase, when retail shops closed their doors for visitors, the number of players dropped by five percent. Less than one percent of players began to visit online casinos for the first time for four weeks, while two percent of people, vice versa, stopped to gamble.
What is more interesting, gambling consumers have started to search for new products and try them. Approximately forty-eight percent of players spent time entertaining themselves with gambling activities, which they had never tried before. Slot machines became the main source of risk because the majority of players switched to these games of chance, and the number of bets in this sector increased considerably. It urged the Gambling Commission to impose certain restrictions that could help to prevent problem gambling.
The second phase was marked by the boost in sports betting caused by the return of some events. The gross gambling yield grew by 115% between May and June. The rise in wagering on sports reflected on the slots vertical: the time of playing sessions started to decrease.
Now is the current phase when sports events are available to bettors but, in many countries, gambling establishments are closed or open with certain restrictive measures. The lack of financial stability influences customers’ decision to play at casinos.
The Gambling Commission concluded that, in general, the lockdown hadn’t become the reason for a sharp spike in the gambling activity. Moreover, the number of gamblers has even dropped at the beginning of the first phase. The regulator does everything possible to eliminate potential risks and protect UK citizens from negative gambling effects.
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