The past year has had a huge impact on different business sectors across the world with some finding strong footing and growing successes, where others haven’t been as fortunate and face future struggles or become unable to remain open at all – those in the online space have been able to perform much better than those outside of it, as many would have expected – but one big surprise has been within online casinos as many have continued to surge in new users despite efforts to slow growth.
(Image from openpr.com)
Much of the change had already been planned or put in place – the most impactful change had been the introduction of the Gamstop initiative which had been aimed at reducing participation options for problem players as a self-inclusion scheme that would prevent access to sites that were signed up – whilst initially a voluntary scheme for operators, it was later made mandatory with all game operators in the UK being registered by default. This had led to a growing number of operators registering outside of the country in other parts of the world that were more favourable with a good resource here to find some of the biggest – but had only been the tip of the iceberg for changes to come.
Other restrictive changes in the country also reduced payment options for example as a ban had been made to credit card betting and gambling, adding yet more restriction to a space heavily regulated and controlled. These changes had already been planned and set into motion, however, with other specific changes coming into play as restrictions were placed on advertising for these services throughout the middle of the year as it was deemed it could be damaging to at-risk players during a difficult time, other countries followed with similar restrictions including deposit and withdrawal limits or outright banning online play all together.
Despite these restrictions, online casinos have continued to grow throughout the past year as many report having record numbers of new users and a huge number of regular players, where some of this can be attributed to the lockdowns and the inability to access brick-and-mortar casino locations, many others are linking it to the fact that changing attitudes toward gaming and the growth of platforms like mobile have provided a growing opportunity for new players to discover and start playing on these services.
With uncertainty around how long similar measures could remain for throughout 2021, it is largely expected that this same growth will continue to be seen with constantly changing estimates on the market size, it could look to be a very different industry by the time things return to normal – for both players and operators alike, however, this has served as a huge benefit to bring positivity to a very difficult year.