You only need to glance at the news headlines to see that people who have been forced to stay home are playing a lot of games online. It seems like the gaming industries should be very happy with all these new players.
But there is a cloud around the silver lining.
Recreational gaming has always kept the kids happy and at home. While they may be streaming more movies, TV shows, and game sessions online now they don’t have to go to school they are still doing what they’ve always done.
Adult gaming veterans may have seen a change in their favorite venues. More players are showing up for poker games. And some casinos have shut down to protect their employees.
Beyond that what does the public really know about how the real money online gambling industry is doing?
Some Governments Cracked Down on Online Gambling
It hardly seems fair but almost as soon as everyone was ordered to stay at home some governments imposed strict limits on online gambling. It’s no shock to outsiders that Chinese gamblers who could not get to Macau casinos during the pandemic have been unable to gamble online.
China has always forbidden online gambling. There may be a few million Chinese players who sneak past the firewalls but online casinos won’t benefit much from the Chinese market.
Europe has been very friendly to online gambling for years. And yet recent news stories say that countries like Sweden are starting to crack down on the industry.
The problem for gamers and casinos alike is that the world has entered a global recession. Europe may be handling things differently from the United States but people have less money to spend now than they did a few months ago.
Sportsbooks Have Suffered an Industry-Wide Shock
Although sports betting is not technically gaming it is closely aligned with the online casino industry. Some online casinos offer their own sportsbooks but many players use enjoy both kinds of betting.
And many European sportsbooks have shut down because of the pandemic.
A few sportsbooks have shifted over to the sports market. Esports are still booming and bettors are willing to wager money on those games. Some online casinos and sportsbooks had already embraced esports.
The future looks bright for esports betting because many more people have now learned about this option. Those who have the money to gamble won’t stop just because they are staying at home.
The real question concerns how many of the shuttered sportsbooks will come back when the major leagues begin playing games again.
The pandemic created an opportunity for betting exchanges, too. Bettors who set up their own wagers were bypassing the bookies more and more anyway. While it takes time to come up to speed on these apps, they are here to stay.
Sports betting seems to be healthy but the companies that were big names in the field only a few months ago may never recover their…
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