Online Casinos Are Booming in the Age of COVID
It’s no secret that land-based casinos have been hit hard by the restrictions that have been imposed during the COVID 19 crisis. However, this has been a blessing for the online gambling industry, which has seen unprecedented growth and attention since the beginning of the pandemic. And, while we are seeing a surge at the moment, there is the possibility that new adepts of online gambling stick to the option once traditional casinos are back in operation, which could have a profound effect on the future of the industry. Let’s take a look at the numbers and some of the reasons behind online casinos’ rising popularity.
Spike in Online Gambling in Australia
Australia has seen some of the highest jumps in interest in online gambling recently. SEMrush saw a significant jump in queries for online pokies in Australia. The term went from around 12,000 searches a month in February to over 40,000 monthly searches in April, which is impressive.
Another study by AlphaBeta analytics and Australia credit agency illion found that there was an increase of 67% in online play for Australian players from March to April of this year. Not only was this one of the biggest boosts for the online gambling industry, but any other industry in the country. This can be attributed to many factors, some of which were already contributing to online gambling’s popularity before the crisis.
Online Gambling’s Edge
Online casinos are doing a better job than ever at replicating the brick and mortar casino experience, and even surpass it in some cases. Amateurs of real money pokies have a choice between hundreds and sometimes even thousands of different games under the same roof. This is usually impossible if we’re talking about land-based casinos with space limitations.
Then there’s online gambling’s convenience. Online casinos allow players to play wherever they are at whatever time they want. The only thing that was slowing online casinos’ progression was die-hard casino gamblers who now have no option but online casinos. Those who would usually have a prejudice against the format are beginning to enjoy these benefits, and some, if not the majority, are bound to still consider the option when traditional casinos reopen.
Rise in Illegal Online Gambling Too
But it hasn’t all been roses in the industry. As there was a surge in online gambling in general, we’re seeing a surge in fraudulent online casinos as well. This is especially important for Australian players, as outside casinos are technically not allowed to serve players in the country. The only option is for them to at least look at the casino’s licensure, look at some reputable review sites, and get a second opinion from the community.
The ACMA recently ordered ISPs to block over 50 casinos that were deemed illegal. Some, however, are questioning the whack-a-mole approach that’s being used and online gamblers are advised to be vigilant and conduct thorough research before they spend a dime in any online gambling establishment.
There is no doubt that this pandemic is transforming the face of gambling and might do so forever. We’re still curious to see how the government will react and decide whether it’s time to legitimise it for the sake of players in the country.
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