The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape of online gambling forever. Although the leisure activity was already popular among enthusiasts before the pandemic, it intensified the passion among people who loves wagering their money on bets.

As a result, UK experts are concerned about the damage excessive gambling can do to the citizens. The UK has been a hub for both brick-and-mortar and online gambling for a very long time. The physical casinos and betting installations might be closed due to the lockdown, the statistics show a huge increase in online activity.

Experts are blaming the isolation due to the lockdown and easy access to gambling sites as the reason. For some institutions like Ladbrokes, the earnings increased by over 11% during the pandemic compared to the previous year. The company’s shares also experienced a huge leap in April of 2021!

Bet365, another popular name in the iGaming industry has reported a whopping £469 million in revenue in 2020, one of the highest in the history of British corporate. Bet365 has a casino as well and it was the casino that brought in the majority of the earning, thanks to the lack of enough sports betting events.

The Reasons Behind the Surge in Online Gambling

Primarily, the experts suspect it’s the lockdown. It has left people with more time at hand and more disposable income for those who have steady jobs. Another reason behind the record-breaking high in gambling activities is the cancellation of all ongoing sports fixtures.

The UK residents love sports in general. And a huge portion of the audience loves to place occasional bets on their favourite sports. Hence, the cancellation of sports fixtures has diverted them to online casinos to quench their thirst for the thrill of betting.

The co-founder of Gamban, Mr. Matt Zarb-Cousin mentioned that the increased advertisements from the iGaming operators. The absence of proper sports betting events has allowed online casinos to attract the mass. The higher margin of profit and more lucrative activities at online casinos are some of the prime reasons behind the shift in trends.

Mr. Cousin also added that most online operators allow a self-exclusion program for the users who suspect gambling might be a problem for them. However, the ones with the highest risk of addiction are responsible for the majority of the revenues.

The Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) report shows that online slots and other casino games are responsible for 93% of the revenue. Even in areas where people suffer from deprivation of basic human rights, the popularity of online casino games is prominent.

The Lack of Regulation

Experts are claiming the lack of regulation to be one of the main reasons behind the uncontrolled behaviour of the players. However, the UK government is reviewing the Gambling Act 2005 to update it according to the industry’s current needs.

The iGaming industry has evolved a lot since the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005. The majority of the introduction to new technologies and new game mechanics happened after the Act was in practice. So, it’s high time since the Government put enough emphasis to update the regulations.

More People are Asking for Help

People who are acquainted with the iGaming industry may know about GamCare. It’s one of the most active organizations providing addiction support charity to those in need in the UK. The CEO of the organization, Anna Hemings has said in an interview that more people are calling for help with gambling addiction than before the pandemic.

She also added that the number of calls drops during the initial days of the lockdown. As people were still getting their heads around the pandemic, their focus shifted elsewhere to take care of other problems. But as things started to settle, the number of calls inclined gradually.

The Changing World

The world the revolves around the iGaming industry is certainly changing. The Coronavirus pandemic has introduced a whole new array of issues that experts never predicted. The increase in gambling activity is one of those.

It’s the operators’ and the affiliates’ job to spread awareness about gambling addiction and its harmful effects. If you’re an affiliate, this may be the perfect time to revamp your content strategy and make it more inclusive.