The COVID-19 pandemic brought the economies across the world to a standstill in the first half of 2020. Due to the suspension of business operations, there have been many layoffs, leaving millions of people jobless.
Just like the rest of the world, the UK has also faced the brunt of the outbreak, leading to the shutdown of various industries, including the gambling sector. According to the UK’s National Statistics (ONS), 0.4 percent of companies have permanently shut down due to this pandemic. The ones that are still functional, have cut down on an average of 21 percent of their workforce.
The full lockdown in the UK has resulted in significant changes in consumer behaviour, and have affected the gambling industry.
Impact on the UK Gambling Industry
The pandemic has left a huge impact in the UK gambling industry across the country. The government issued a decree instructing to close all casinos, bookmaking, bingo halls, restaurants, cinemas, bars, and other businesses.
The operating data by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) comparing statistics of March 2020 and March 2019 provided key insights into the changing gambling market trends. Since all the retail-gambling venues were closed in March 2020, the gambling activities that usually generate 50 percent of the total market (except lotteries) stopped.
Less Percentage of Consumers are Gambling
During the lockdown, only licensed betting operators in the UK had permission to operate at the gambling venues in June 2020. However, consumer participation in gambling outlets declined sharply.
The full lockdown period did not attract many new consumers to gambling. A YouGov survey between May 20 and 21, 2020, shows that only 0.4 percent of respondents resumed gambling for the first time after the lockdown started. In comparison, nearly 2.1 percent of adults stopped gambling altogether during that period.
When it comes to the National Lottery, the YouGov data further shows that consumer participation dropped in draw-based games to 22 percent in mid-June from 26 percent in mid-April. It happened due to a change in consumer behaviour where we can see a significant shift from retail to online gambling.
During the lockdown many consumers tried new gambling products
The online operator data on online gambling reveals that over the past few months, more consumers began trying new digital gambling products.
During May 2020, the scenario was almost identical to the previous month, though there was a marginal drop in the percentage of active players who participated in more than one gambling activity, which came down to 40 percent from 43 percent.
Online Gaming Market Surged during the Lockdown
Again, the UKGC report shows a significant rise in the percentage of consumers searching and participating in online gambling. There has been a rise of nearly 25 percent in people trying online slots, and it went up further by around 38 percent when it comes to poker. This data is during the first two months of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The online gaming industry is one of those rare sectors that could survive through this pandemic with relatively lesser financial damage. The popularity of online casinos has gone up sharply, and they are doing brisk business compared to the established traditional casinos. Check for top independent and EU casinos.
Popular UK Online Casinos Lead the Way
During the pandemic, the UK gambling industry witnessed a major shift, as many gamblers began moving to online gambling due to the closure of physical gaming houses. This switchover has boosted the popular gambling websites in the country.
Many customers love to do gambling on their smartphone using the apps, while others participate in online gambling on their desktops and laptops. If you are interested in top-quality online gambling, check this guide to casinos not on gamstop to satisfy your cravings for gambling.