The COVID 19 pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the world and crippled many businesses. While some industries are still reeling from this unprecedented crisis, the online gaming environment is thriving. Internet gambling operators have provided people with quality entertainment while allowing them to enjoy the thrills of gaming from the comfort of their homes. Not surprisingly, online casino searches spiked during the lockdown and hit an all-time high.
A match made in heaven
Online gambling operators were obviously thrilled by the prospect of having so many enthusiastic players. In the absence of any meaningful forms of entertainment, many people have turned to online casinos and bookmakers. The UK Gambling Commission has also confirmed the fact that there has been a rise in online gambling during the lockdown. A clear indicator of this trend is the fact that more people have searched for online casino content from sites like newcasinosites.me.uk these days than ever before.
Not only slots, table games and video pokers were in demand during this time of the year, but also poker and virtual sports. With the main sports competitions on recess, there were very few traditional sports betting opportunities for punters. Internet casinos were happy to provide a substitute to those who were trying to cope with boredom in isolation. The UK GC gave casinos new guidelines to help their customers during these difficult times and warned them against breaking the rules.
Online gaming: A two-edged sword
Casino fans have had a lot of fun these months in spite of being confined to the close quarters of their homes. Most of them have enjoyed the games recreationally, but for people struggling with compulsive gambling these were trying times. The combination of isolation and easy access to online casino games was in their case, a recipe for disaster. Even though online gambling operators have agreed to pause TV and radio advertising, players are still exposed to a plethora of Internet ads.
Some people have played excessively during the last few months and ended up accumulating large losses. In the most severe of cases, players ended up borrowing money from friends and relatives, without any intention of paying it back. This led not only to financial problems, but also a fast and sometimes irreversible deterioration of relationships between people. By the time the lockout has ended, many of these problem gamblers found themselves in a deep hole and with no real way out.
Industry regulators took certain measures to limit the negative impact of excessive gambling. By banning e-wallets and credit cards for gambling, they tried to help players limit the amount they lose over short period of time. Even so, the amounts spent by players on gambling transactions have skyrocketed since lockdown began. There was also an increase in the number of people who asked Gamstop for the self-exclusion to be reversed. Luckily for them, this isn’t possible, as the system will only allow players to return to gambling after the minimum period of time has ended.