Amid countless job losses, nationwide lockdowns and economic downturns, it’s easy to believe every industry suffered during the pandemic. Yet, some sectors performed incredibly well in the one year since COVID-19 became a pandemic.
The online casino industry is an excellent example. While every other business was struggling to survive, online casinos were thriving. In fact, some of these companies recorded so much success that they contributed majorly to the revenues of their local jurisdictions.
Below is an overview of the iGaming industry in the last one year to help you understand how it performed. Sounds good? Let’s dive right in.
All-Time High Interest
After the UK went on lockdown in March last year, Google searches about online casinos shot to an all-time high. According to a report by the BBC, the sudden interest in online casinos appeared after sports were cancelled.
In other words, one of the reasons casinos attracted so much attention at the start of lockdown was because most other entertainment sources had been cancelled. People couldn’t watch sports on TV, hold parties or go to the movies.
However, they could stay at home and play casino games safely. They could also play games like poker with their friends, thereby socializing even though they couldn’t meet with their loved ones.
With that in mind, search interest for casinos decreased after the return of sports. Still to be clear, online gambling sites have recorded tremendous growth in the past one year compared to any other year in recent history.
A New Casino Every Week
This is not an exaggeration. After reports emerged last year that there was an astronomical interest in casinos, new casinos started to emerge left, right and center. To date, there’s a new online casino nearly every week.
Many of these newcomers bring nothing new to the industry. They are simply here to tap on the on the growing demand for their services. Still, there are some new and established providers have been offering high-quality services in the last one year.
Besycasino.co.uk has a great list of top-rated casinos with the best services in 2021. These are operators with sweet bonuses, hundreds of games, fast payments and unmatched customer service.
The best new casinos have been marketing their brands on the premise of higher paying games and bonuses with fairer bonuses. On the flip side, top-rated established casinos offer tried and tested services.
Many online casinos in the UK closed 2020 on a profit. By comparison, most land-based casinos recorded losses. The same situation happened to sportsbooks. While high-street betting shops reeled in losses, their online counterparts earned up to 28% more than 2019.
Entain is a great example. Entain is the brand behind Ladbrokes and Coral gambling sites. It recorded a 28% growth rate in 2020, culminating in a gross income of £175 million. In the US, things were similar.
Online casinos made significantly higher profits in 2020 than in 2018. BetMGM, for example, which runs online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, generated £128 million in revenue.
Flutter, the brand behind casinos and betting sites like Betfair and Paddy Power also recorded a 28% growth rate. This came at a time when the company’s UK division recorded a 36% profit reduction in the same year.
Loads of New Games
Increased demand for online casinos means operators have had more money to invest in games. Usually, the production of slots and table games increases as the demand for these games grow.
Indeed, the last one and a half years has led to an unusually high production of new casino games. Slots are the biggest beneficiaries. And this is not surprising. One-armed bandits dominate most casinos, representing up to 80% of all available games.
That said, it’s also easier to innovate new slots than table games. Developers can build a slot inspired by just about anything: sports, video games, TV shows, ancient Egypt, politicians, the weather, anything.
However, creating a new table game can backfire. People are used to specific rules in roulette and blackjack. If a new game comes with odd rules, players could easily reject it.
Bigger, Better Bonuses
Another factor that shows the performance of online casinos in the midst of COVID-19 can be seen in their bonuses. Pre-pandemic, operators had a few generic offers. Your first deposit was treated with a 100% match offer. And as a cherry on top, you could earn a handful of free spins.
Amidst the pandemic, casinos have become extremely generous with rewards. They have also become creative. For example, not every company awards you a 100% bonus when you make your first deposit.
Some operators offer to give you cashback money on your losses. Others give you a small number of bonuses albeit with irresistible conditions, say zero wagering requirements. Some other operators have daily missions, quests and tournaments to keep players engaged.
Bonuses play a vital role in the success of a casino. Players adore these rewards. So, if an operator gives out irresistible offers, it’s likely to retain its customers in the long term.
Improved Service Quality
The addition of dozens of new casinos in the industry is forcing many companies to improve their service or risk closing down. Some progressive casinos have improved their services drastically as a result. Others have remained stagnant and could be on their way to closure.
The best companies have been improving on crucial areas: game fairness, security, payment speed, customer services and bonuses. They also provide high-paying, innovative, exciting games that suit the needs of different players.
Additionally, they secure their websites to keep players’ data safe. What’s more, they process payments quickly. In case of issues, they swing into action immediately to respond to complaints and to resolve issues.
Of course, the level of service delivery differs from one casino to another. This is why many players tend to join multiple casinos. Some operators fare well in payouts and bonuses. But they could lag behind in customer service and game variety.