Following the raft of regulator-introduced controls aimed at protecting gamblers under lockdown, we are seeing the first data emerge on how play patterns are actually being disrupted.
In the wake of retail closures and sports cancellations, total gambling is down in New Zealand, Denmark and Great Britain. But with slots bets up 25% year-on-year and virtuals up 40% against a 31% drop in sports according to the GC’s survey, there is evidence of a switch to faster-cycle, potentially higher-risk products.
This vindicates the voluntary measures taken by Betting and Gaming Council members in March. However, it will provide scant comfort to operators left scrambling to process large volumes of extra daily transactions – £200k in one case – after the GC ordered the removal of reverse withdrawal options in the wake of the survey’s findings. Daniel O’Boyle digs deeper into the reality vs. perceptions of this ‘online casino boom’ in the features section.
We lead this issue, though, with Jo Christie’s expansive look at how the lockdown is impacting the digital trajectory of European lotteries, fast distancing them from their caricature as digital Luddites by certain sections of the igaming sector.