In a world where precarity of businesses is becoming an increasingly frequent story on news broadcasts, there are few industries that you could confidently state are growing. One of those few is online gambling, both on sports and in casinos, which has seen a rise worldwide in the last few years and is becoming ever more prominent. This is happening against a backdrop of potential and actual recession, which would seem to buck the trend when it comes to entertainment spending. So it is worth looking into the reasons behind this growth.
- Why are more and more people getting into online gaming at this point?
- Are there lessons to be learned from this growing industry?
- And perhaps most importantly, is this a trend we can expect to see continuing for the foreseeable future?
Below, we will look at potential answers to these questions and others.
As with any other industry, it would be difficult to ignore the part played by the Covid-19 pandemic in the online betting industry. However, while many other sectors saw their takings floored by the virus, online gambling grew in many countries as people were confined to their homes in some areas, and found other entertainment options shut off in others. Particularly in places where measures were taken to protect people’s incomes, online betting became an attractive prospect to people who wouldn’t otherwise have considered it.
There is no way of acknowledging the global growth of online betting without recognising the part played by its increased availability. Over the past decade or so, laws on gambling have been liberalised in the USA, Germany, Canada, and several other countries. Even in countries where laws have remained tight, the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has meant people can bet across borders. With new markets opening and people using crypto at casinos online, new audiences have been introduced to the opportunity to bet.
Is this rise sustainable?
In truth, the only real measure of an industry’s sustainability in the long term is time. There is greater availability of online betting, and people have discovered ways to enjoy themselves without leaving their homes, so there are good reasons why online betting may continue to grow worldwide for longer than the initial novelty that may have driven early interest. With environmental concerns likely to persuade more people to avoid non-essential journeys, the popularity of at-home entertainment forms like casinos may well remain solid for some time to come.
What has the industry done well?
If there are lessons to be learned from the casino industry and its recent growth, they would be the following.
People respond to incentives. Each online casino and sportsbook tends to offer free bets, free spins, matched deposits and other forms of financial incentive. This has proved to be more effective than any amount of flashy TV advertising. Online casinos also offer variety and choice – you can play dozens of different kinds of game, which keeps people interested. Additionally, casinos have responded to change – with niche options like social casinos, crypto gaming and more accounting for a lot of their growth.