How the gambling industry was impacted in Canada by the COVID-19 pandemic
At the start of the covid-19 pandemic many land-based gambling outlets were forced to shut their doors by the order of the government. Due to this the industry have changed and players have turned to online gambling, although it didn’t have the same feel as the physical gaming outlets.
Somewhere between the first and second wave of the pandemic under strict restrictions some gambling outlets managed to reopen with limited capacity, and although customers started to return, the industry suffered a loss from where it could not recover ever since.
During this period the The Problem Gambling Severity Index has also increased, and studies (Alberta Gambling Research Institute) have shown that while land-based casinos had restricted or limited access, some individuals while turning to online casinos developed a gambling addiction as a result of getting stuck in front of their computer all day during lockdowns or quarantines with no access to work or daily movement.
Online casinos have started to become more and more popular, which was boosted also by the recent legalization of online gaming in several jurisdictions. While online casino games, slots, roulette, poker, and lottery ticket sales gained more players, the sports betting industry was impacted negatively due to the worldwide suspension of sport events.
In several countries the government have taken measures to reduce the negative impact of lockdown when it comes online gambling. These can be for example limiting advertising of such websites, setting daily bet cap or simply raise awareness of the negative effects that excessive online gambling might create over our life.
The virtual casinos before the pandemic and lockdowns were not nearly as relevant to the gaming industry in Canada as it is today. The Canadians started to seek for trusted online casinos with popular games like blackjack, poker, slots, roulette, and the players began to look out for websites that clearly explains their odds of winning, welcome bonuses, first no deposit bonuses and free spins.
As time passed since the pandemic started, we can say that players started to be more aware of the up and downsides what this sector can bring, moreover online casinos also try to bring in attention of people how to play responsibly, which after al leads the industry into positive direction.