Gambling experts have long pointed out that the industry is not recession-proof, and recent data has further supported this claim.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected and changed the entire world, and the gambling industry is no exception. As the world recovers slowly but surely, financial information is starting to trickle in, which will enable us to have a clearer outlook of just how massive the pandemic's impact had on the industry, though it can be quite tricky to determine whether this data is mainly influenced by a once-in-a-lifetime epidemic or if it is indicative of more general trends in the way the people prefer to gamble.
For example, in the UK, a report from Statista said that, "There are various forms of legal gambling in the United Kingdom. These can include casinos, betting, lotteries, bingo, scratch cards, online (or remote) gambling, and more. The industry is regulated by the Gambling Commission (GC) which represents the government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS). In 2020, the gross gambling yield (GGY) in Great Britain was 5.89 billion British pounds, down from the previous year's GGY of 14.12 billion pounds. This drop can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic which drastically impacted the gambling industry due to the closure of brick-and-mortar establishments and the pausing of major sports leagues."
A recent Leanback Player report discussing the Gambling Commission report states that for the most part, gambling across all settings in the UK, from arcades and betting to casinos, bingo and lotteries has enjoyed a steady increase.
Supporting this claim, Statista saidg, "Due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, the share of the public who gambled online in Great Britain increased in 2021. Approximately 28.8% of adults between the ages of 45 to 54 stated that they took part in some form of online gambling four weeks prior to being surveyed, by 2021 this figure had grown to 32.8%."
The Leanback report added: "The fact that lockdowns have prevented many land-based casinos from servicing players at all has driven those same players towards online alternatives. According to data from Google Trends, more people in the UK searched online for the term "casino" in May 2020 than at any other time on record. Slots are, by far, the most popular game in online establishments in the UK. Slots account for as much as 69.3% of all the money wagered on internet sites, which makes up as much as £2.2 billion of the total GGY."
The UK is one of the biggest gaming markets in the world. According to the UK Gambling Commission, the gaming revenue garnered in Great Britain from April 2019 to March 2020 was estimated at around $19.2 billion. Online gaming has become the largest sector, which represented 40% of that total revenue.