How Did the COVID-19 Affect the Worldwide Economy and Gambling?

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 had economic consequences for the global economy. Indeed, it did bring in a recession on a global scale since a third or more of the population across the world had to be placed under lockdown.

Economic Impact

As COVID-19 cases started to rise, stock markets started to fall globally, from February 2020. The first instances were around mainland China. Indeed, by the end of February 2020, stock markets around the world had the largest declines, comparable to the financial crisis that the world saw last in 2008. Of course, by then, most Chinese populations were quarantined, having been the first regions to be affected by the disease. 

Of course, many had good health conditions but had to be quarantined due to large-scale exposure to their region or community. For them, online gambling and gaming options came to the rescue. As people had to spend weeks cooped up at home, the only outlet and entertainment was online gaming, video games, and casino games. Indeed, many casinos saw a rise in people registering, especially to try demos such as the best online slots real money in Canada. Casinos saw the start of a profitable time during the first months of 2020. 

With the spread of the pandemic, events and global conferences, including eSports, were canceled or postponed. Hence, this impacted several sectors such as technology, sports, fashion, and others. Indeed, the travel and trade industry was impacted in a severe manner. Total losses for these industries are yet to be calculated, but it is estimated that it is in billions.

Statistics of User Engagement with eSports and Video Games

One industry that has thrived during the lockdown period is video games. This is a broad spectrum that includes eSports, casino games, video games of different categories; revenues for all these platforms and gaming companies rose during the pandemic. It also accelerated existing trends for the gaming industry. With social distancing reducing human activity and interaction to a minimum, gaming offered people a way to de-stress and relax, even to interact with people over virtual platforms. Hence, data shows that there was a huge increase in gaming time as well as in sales during the peak lockdown periods in 2020.

Since real sports events were stymied during the lockdown period, it heralded victory for video gaming platforms. People flocked to virtual game sessions, either to participate or to view as many virtual and eSports events and tournaments were held online. Though eSports events that were supposed to be held in stadiums across the world were postponed or canceled, many had virtual versions scheduled to help engage the audience and fans. 

Revenue Rise in Gambling and eSports Business 2020

As per the activity trends, it was apparent that the online gaming and gambling industry was set to see good profits. Indeed, early forecasts show that the industry rose in the worth of about $159 billion last year. That was about four times box office revenue in 2019 and three times what the music industry raked in during 2019. The Asia Pacific ranked in 50% of the total game’s revenue while North America accounted for a quarter of that revenue. 

Revenues and their growth in the online gaming and gambling segment have been due to an increase in consumer spending. Consumers may not purchase games as much online recurring revenue is generated from the active user base. Also, the industry focuses on increasing engagement aspects for the users. Hence, casino games, especially slots, are designed with new features, immersive animation, and gameplay features. Strategies are to make users stay engaged with a particular game for a longer time.

eSports is also a distinct gaming segment. Though the focus had been on video game competitions that are organized on a large scale, 2020 saw a shift to the same events being held virtually, as much as possible. The sector also grew appreciably during the pandemic-stricken year, getting profits over a billion dollars. 

Though the online gaming and gambling industry had been rising for some time, 2020 definitely pushed the growth curve further and faster. As per American Gaming Association, today, there are about 2800 sites that are active and online, offering casino games such as lottery, poker, bingo, and slots, as compared to what the figures were in 2018. Also, better internet connection, as well as the adoption of smartphones, helped to support and provide easy access to gambling platforms. eSports virtual events helped people to stay connected and participate in live gaming sessions, helping to counteract the long periods of solitude and isolation.

About Author