Norsk Tipping’s report and news about the casino and other gambling sectors provided insight into how gamblers’ habits and behavior had changed during the pandemic and whether the protective measures had helped to prevent excessive gaming.
Norsk Tipping, Norway’s gambling monopolist, has provided interesting data about the gambling industry sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the lockdown started, there was much concern about problem gamblers in the country. Self-isolation might lead to negative consequences as these vulnerable social groups were exposed to risk.
Did restrictions help to prevent the spike in problem gambling?
According to the report, the restrictions imposed during the lockdown really helped to restrain players from gambling too much. It is worth mentioning that limits have been put on spendings at online casinos.
As the data provided by the state-owned gambling company showed, the lottery vertical had been the leader in sales. Big jackpots, as well as additional offers, attracted many players. Online bingo, in its turn, remained the same, without a considerable increase in users’ activity. Norsk Tipping noted that virtual casinos were the major problematic vertical, but the number of players increased slightly there. There was some chance that gamblers who preferred land-based gambling machines (which didn’t operate during the lockdown) would switch to their online alternatives. However, this didn’t happen.
Norsk Tipping used a special color code to indicate the level of gamblers’ risky behavior. After the lockdown started, the indicator was green, which meant that the risk level was low. This is mostly connected with the closure of land-based gambling venues and cancelation of sports events. The second phase (starting from the end of May) was marked by the increase in the number of “red” players in the online casino vertical. The reason for this was a gradual return to normal life and resume of sports events.