COVID-19 and novel coronavirus has become the everyday news impacting lives and livelihood globally. In fact, there is not a single industry that has remained unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak. The everyday lives were put on hold with global level lockdown imposed. And, most of the industries including casinos in the United Kingdom were advised to shut down as a preventive social distancing measure.
An Introduction to the Casinos & Gambling Industry in the UK
Casinos or the gambling industry is a thriving sector in the UK; while the casinos are approved and licensed by the Gambling Commission of Great Britain. According to a statistical report in 2018 (Source: Statista), the gambling industry in the UK was reported to have over 100,000 employees with more than 53,000 employed in the betting sector.
While gambling has been a part of the British culture since time immemorial, gambling clubs or the casinos only emerged during the 19th century. In fact, gambling was quite different back then, where it mostly involved betting or wagers over jostling matches, or coin games like cross and pill, or ancient versions of poker like Bragg.
Gambling was legalized in Britain in 1960 via the Gaming Act, which witnessed the rise of the casino sector. The modern gambling industry in the UK centers on sports betting, and the modern casino games including live table games, slots, roulette, etc. Not to forget the onset of the online casinos that revolutionized online gambling during the early 2000s.
Most popular casino games in UK casinos
Some of the classic casino games are very popular in the UK casino market. These include roulette, blackjack, and slots. There are other casino games alongside sports betting and virtual Reality games that you can find in the online casinos. However, it is the classic version at the land-based casinos that have always attracted gamblers to explore the brick and mortar casinos in the UK.
In the last two decades, the online casino and gambling industry has also witnessed immense growth. While the land-based casino’s visitor demographics are between the age groups of 40 to 65, the online casinos are popular among the younger generation in the ages between 18 to 35.
New Trends in Online Casinos & Casinos Bonuses
Online casinos have grown in popularity since the early 2000s. Whether it is the myriad of classic and new casino games or the minimum wagering requirement, players prefer it over the brick and mortar casinos. Although initially, online casinos had safety concerns, today online casinos are believed to be transparent and fair.
While the brick and mortar casinos have their own charm, the online casinos have additional advantages. The attractive bonuses ranging from welcome packages to deposit bonuses or the free spins no deposit bonus, or the loyalty rewards, or the multiple currency options including cryptocurrencies; online casinos have many perks. In fact, post the lockdown, online casinos would be coming up with even better bonuses like this.
How has Covid-19 Affected the Casino Industry in the UK?
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a global level lockdown. Land-based casinos were closed while 80-90% of the employees lost their jobs and the others were asked to take up an unpaid furlough. While this is the case with land-based casinos, the online casinos on the other hand have witnessed a rise in their traffic.
With the coronavirus having put a stop to the highly anticipated sporting events in the world, the sports betting industry has taken a major hit. However, online casinos have introduced the esports and virtual reality games that have worked well as a diversion for sports betting enthusiasts in the UK.
UK Casinos Set to Reopen from July 4
The land-based casinos are all set to reopen from July 4 as per reports confirmed by the Betting and Gaming Council, UK. The move is part of the third and final phase of easing the lockdown where hospitality and leisure industries like casinos are concerned.
What will be the look of the casino after re-opening? Online time will tell as the casinos will be implementing the COVID-19 precautions or preventive measures like ‘no valet parking’, two-meter social distance, etc.