Ever since the establishment of the online Canadian gambling industry, there have been both winners and losers. Due to the pandemic resulting from COVID-19, there have been losers among numerous online casinos as well. The biggest names in Canada have responded to the impact of the pandemic on online casinos, sports betting and bingo in numerous different ways. Some have fared better than others. The safety precautions mandatory for online casinos are tough.
These casinos are now facing ethical dilemmas stemming from the projected worldwide loss of several billion dollars for 2021 alone due to COVID-19. Numerous experts are now debating how well online Canadian casinos will be able to recover from the unexpected pandemic. Polling data was released by GREO or the Gambling Research Exchange on June 1st. The data showed the effect of the quarantine on the gambling citizens of Canada should be alarming the governments.
A market research agency based in Ontario conducted a poll. One-third of the responders believe they have spent more money than usual during the pandemic for online gambling. Some of them claimed they might be developing a gambling addiction. Between May 7th and 12th, 1,500 Canadians were surveyed. Twenty percent of the participants gambling before the pandemic are continuing and gambling more than they did before the quarantine.
Six percent are claiming they are gambling a lot more than in the past, with 44 percent having logged in and placed bets for one or two days during the previous month. One out of every four believe they are developing a potential gambling addiction and 35 percent stated they are overspending on gambling. According to GREOs Chief Executive Officer, people have become more anxious regarding gambling. When this is combined with the number of COVID strains currently in isolation, anxiety is becoming a serious issue.
The CEO is now concerned the harm due to gambling is increasing. A recent survey showed 46 percent of all Canadian gamblers have lost money as opposed to the 10 percent claiming they usually win. It is important to note the basis of these numbers is the estimations of the participants. According to the experts in the field, the majority of gamblers generally underestimate their losses while overestimating their wins. One of the classic signs of problematic gambling is chasing losses.
The reason the experts are concerned about these numbers is a gambling addiction generally begins with overspending. The result is often psychological distress, relationship issues and financial strain. In a press release, the concerns regarding online gambling during the isolation resulting from COVID-19 were discussed. The consensus is the potential harm during quarantine is much higher than under normal circumstances.
The reports show more men have increased their gambling habits as opposed to women. This is not considered to be a surprise since men generally engage in gambling more frequently resulting in more issues. Among the online gamblers in Canada, over 80 percent are currently men. Only 17.6 percent are women. The reports show 26 percent of the participants prefer online casinos. This is followed by sports betting, online poker and finally horse racing.
There is no doubt new challenges must be faced by the online casinos. As the citizens remain trapped at home, the ability to visit brick-and-mortar casinos has been virtually eliminated. A lot of gamblers have turned to online versions of their favorite games while the physical versions remain unavailable. This includes roulette, slots and poker. Online casinos have experienced an increase in sign-ups during the pandemic. The increase in popularity is causing problems for the regulatory committees and overall industry.
Some of the new players opening accounts are not gambling the same amount of money they have in physical casinos in the past. This may be because lower bets can usually be placed at an online casino. The biggest issue is with the ex-players. These individuals are problem or high-risk gamblers facing a serious temptation during the quarantine. Another concern is the casual gamblers. Although these individuals previously played games at online casinos occasionally in the past, many are playing a lot more than usual.
The fact so many people have lost their main income due to the unemployment resulting from the pandemic must be considered. This has left many players vulnerable to the temptation of gambling beyond what they can afford. There are concerns among the gambling regulation committees and lawmakers that the safeguards currently in place are no longer adequate to protect the people. The most vulnerable are those struggling to refrain from betting during the pandemic.
The established brands are taking ethics and their responsibilities into consideration and have revised their marketing strategies for the current year. The more established and serious online casinos stand above many of the less professional brands by avoiding active advertising. These casinos feel ads can place high-risk gamblers in a difficult situation while in quarantine at home. Advice has been released by regulatory bodies and the UK Gambling Commission along with several other markets.
This advice has been created to help protect individuals at risk during the pandemic. The hope is these steps will be enough to keep high-risk gamblers safe. Even the online vendors and suppliers are currently facing uncertainty. There is no way to predict how long the pandemic will continue and the gambling industry is not expecting a fast recovery. A lot of the major brands will not risk an investment in new technologies, purchase new software or begin any new partnerships.
The growth of the industry is currently facing a stand-still. Even the lesser established brands offering innovative products may be unable to secure the partnerships and funding necessary to become a major name in the business. Even the largest B2Bs are suffering because so many of their investors, partners and clients have not yet recovered financially from the impact of the pandemic. The unfortunate result is a loss of both revenue and customers.
Entrepreneurs and businesses in the Canadian online gambling industry are suffering due to the changes in workplace demands, downsized budgets and lay-offs. COVID-19 has resulted in significant setbacks and restrictions for the industry. The regulators, game providers and players participating in the Canadian gambling industry are in agreement, gambling with money is one thing, but gambling with health is another. The restrictions are starting to be accepted as normal as online casinos replace the physical versions.
The expectation is with time, the industry will be able to recover. Due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the public, there may be less money spent on gambling in the future. Although online gambling will eventually recover, it may not be the same as it was in the past.
Also read: The TOP #5 Canadian online casinos recommended by West Island Blog.