The Covid-19 pandemic has brought severe emotional and financial distress to many Indians. We’re now in 2022, and unlike what we had hoped for, the pandemic is still affecting our day to day lives.
From schools to careers, this disease has left nothing untouched. Still, one question hasn’t been asked and that is how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the Indian online gambling community.
In this article, we’ll be discussing this in detail. If you want to learn about all the major changes that online bookmakers and Indian players have experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, keep reading and you’ll soon find out.
How were online bookmakers affected?
When the Covid-19 pandemic began, land-based bookmakers and casinos were forced to close. As this happened, online gambling sites experienced four major changes that we’re going to discuss below.
Increase in revenue
With land-based gambling venues shut down and everyone working from home, Indian players began joining online betting sites to pass their time. This led to a significant increase in revenue for online bookmakers.
In fact, the global online gambling industry was valued at $53.7 billion in 2019 and it’s expected to grow at a steady rate of 11.5% every year until 2027. This is according to a recent study done by Grand View.
Lack of sports led to less betting markets
Indians didn’t have many sports to bet on during the Covid-19 pandemic. The sports world was massively hit by the hundreds of lockdowns imposed around the world and every sport from football to cricket and even horse racing was halted. As sports organizations cancelled competitions and tournaments, online bookmakers were left with little to no sports betting markets. This ultimately made them increase their number of casino games and live dealer events.
Government-imposed betting limits
During the pandemic, governments saw how online gambling was growing in popularity and therefore introduced new policies that aimed at protecting players from financial harm. Such policies were extremely effective at preventing gambling addiction but they affected how much profit online bookmakers made.
Similar to the government-imposed betting limits, limited advertising was introduced in several countries to control the number of advertisements online bookmakers throw at the public. This was extremely important because people were staying indoors watching their televisions and surfing the internet which made it twice as easier to get lured into gambling.
Some bookmakers even went a step further and suspended their advertisements without the guidance of any government.
How were bettors affected?
Online bookmakers experienced great losses due to the lack of sports events during the pandemic. However, we believe that bettors were the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and we are going to tell you why in great detail.
Lockdown led to more gambling addiction
A paper was written last year highlighting the effects of Covid-19 on gambling and gambling addiction. This paper explains how the pandemic saw many players moved towards online gambling since they were at home and had nothing much to do. Kindly note, that these are people who had no previous experience in online gambling.
These people would later on begin visiting gambling sites more frequently and in no time, develop problematic gambling habits.
On the other hand, those bettors who had been addicted to gambling even before the pandemic experienced great financial harm. This is because the stress and social isolation made gambling an easy escape.
With all this happening, it’s important to remember to play responsibly and to use the available betting and time limits provided by your online bookmaker. Incorporate a budget into your games and never chase your losses. Furthermore, it is okay to take breaks once in a while or when necessary.
Sports betting fans were drawn to casino games
Remember when we said that there were little to no sports events during the lockdown? Well, this led to a lot of Indian bettors exploring casinos and live dealer games.
Games such as slots are known for their stunning graphics and storylines and this attracted a lot of amateur bettors during the pandemic. On the other hand, more experienced Indian gamblers tried their luck with live dealer games such as poker and baccarat.
Players enjoyed more bonuses and promotions
During the Covid-19 pandemic, online bookmakers started running extremely generous bonuses and promotions to attract players. It wasn’t difficult finding a Indian betting site offering a 300% welcome bonus plus free spins and some other additional prizes.
This compared to the usual 100% matched bonus offered before the pandemic began can be described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Also, bookmakers upgraded their loyalty and VIP Programs and added some cool exclusive prizes. From high rollers to new players with little experience, everyone definitely enjoyed the lots of winning opportunities offered to them.
Players got to enjoy more banking options
Bonuses and promotions are not the only things that Indian players got to enjoy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bookmakers saw the number of players growing and decided to introduce more banking options that would serve everyone.
For instance, before the lockdown bookmakers accepted Credit/debit cards and a few popular ewallets such as PayPal. Now Indian players can deposit and withdraw their funds using UPI, Google Pay and other new ewallets such as PhonePe.
What is the current situation?
In India things are still a bit confusing because online gambling is neither legal nor prohibited. Lawmakers are strictly against gambling. However, you can find a foreign betting site, create your account and place your bets comfortably.
On the other side, scientists don’t know for sure when the Covid-19 pandemic will end. In fact, a new Covid-19 variant called Omicron was recently discovered and medical experts believe it’s more dangerous than the Delta variant.
So for now, all we can do is enjoy the great benefits of gambling online and hope for the best.
As per the latest Indian gambling reports, the industry is growing at an alarming rate and we believe that we’ll be seeing more betting sites being launched as well as plenty of new features and services.
Gambling at land-based casinos is truly exciting. However, nothing can beat the flexibility of gambling online with your computer or smartphone.
Thanks to modern technology you can now access thousands of betting sites from across the world when you’re seated comfortably in your home. The number of games and sports offered by these bookmakers are also more than enough, and there are numerous bonuses you can claim.
All these can be quite exciting, so don’t forget to play responsibly. Set betting and time limits and seek professional help if you begin developing poor gambling habits.