Can The Gambling Industry do More to Combat The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Las Vegas casinos at night

The novel Coronavirus pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives, whether in the industries we work in or our daily living. We’ve seen it harm the economy and change our quality of life. 

Covid-19 has dramatically influenced the gambling industry, with casinos and bookies taking a massive knock when putting restrictions in place. Countries like Latvia banning online gambling altogether. While Belgium, Spain and Sweden set certain limits. 

For many casino enthusiasts, online gambling has become the new norm. Guides and reviews, like the ones found on https://cvasino.se/ are especially helpful to those seeking a suitable provider. 

Dominic Andreasson is the author of Muck Ruck. He has over ten years of online gambling experience and explores gambling behaviour changes due to the pandemic. 

The Impact of Covid-19 on Online Gambling 

Peoplle wearing masks in a public place, coronavirus pandemic

The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate’s (Spelinspektionen) reports that we’ll get the full account of the damage done by the pandemic between the end of 2020 and early 2021.

Sweden’s National Association of Gambling Addicts (Spelberoendes Riksförbund) noted an expansion of players’ gaming preferences. It was causing increased changes in gambling. Those seeking to place a few wagers are presented with many online casinos to choose from. 

The changes meant those interested in sports betting had to find other options after the cancellation of events. And although sports have restarted, these players have continued to play across multiple gambling platforms. 

Reduced Players Cause for Concern

Sweden’s national problem gambling helpline, Stödlinjen, recorded less frequent calls from users during May. 

During this time, Spelberoendes Riksförbund expressed that more needed to be done to prevent players from gambling on unlicensed websites. Many callers reported that offshore operators harassed them. 

People were becoming agitated with these operators, as Spelhaus.se detected that members went from  53,122 to 52,026 between June and July. Spelhaus confirmed that the slowing rate of new registrations was due to unregulated platforms targeting players. 

Spelinspektionen addressed the fact that the decline in figures might not be a direct consequence of the pandemic. Large payouts and revenue from restaurant casinos and chains could be a result of fluctuations. 

Roulette in casino, gambling during coronavirus

Sweden’s Watertight Restrictions

Sweden is increasing restrictions. 

As of July 2, the Swedish government enforced strict temporary limits, including online casinos, that’ll remain until the end of 2020. These restrictions include:

  • Deposit limit of SEK 5,000 per week
  • Licensees
  • One welcome bonus not exceeding SEK 100

The steps the Swedish government wanted to implement were more severe than what it is. The government evaluated what the best course of action would be to protect users as well as gaming platforms. This action would’ve meant shutting down online casinos entirely. They’d then take drastic measures against casinos for not protecting members against gambling addiction. 

Experts Dominic Andreasson and Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary-general for Sweden’s online gambling trade association, expressed dismay at the thought of these strict laws. Their concern was customers ending up registering at offshore platforms, and resulting in catastrophe for regulated platforms. 

The Swedish government aims to get 90% of gambling users to flock to licensed websites, but the current rate is closer to 75%. So, implementing these forceful restrictions would be bad for these websites. 

Responsible Gambling

dice and poker, online gambling

Despite the world’s condition and the uncertainty of the effects Coronavirus is having on gambling, some casinos have maintained their customers’ safety and security. Specific tools are used, like setting deposit and loss limits. 

These casinos use algorithms to measure changes in gambling and trends in the harmful behaviour of players. The tools allow casinos to detect whether gambling addiction could become a problem in future. 

The UK created a campaign that limited advertising for gambling. On tv and radio to minimise high-risk gamblers’ exposure to casinos. 

Other countries became involved in preventing problem gambling from escalating; Belgium implemented a €500 deposit limit per week, and Spain banned advertising between the hours of 1 and 5 am. 

Conclusion 

We shouldn’t forget that gambling could pose an issue, even without the pressures of a global pandemic. That’s why online casinos and sportsbooks, and governments’ primary goal, must be to prevent problem gambling from becoming a threat. 

While virtual games and online betting become more popular, it’s best to keep an eye on those who may become high-risk. This way, casinos provide them with the support they require to have an everyday, active life outside these casinos.

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