COVID-19 Effect on Online Gambling Industry Growth

Updated on January 22, 2022

As social distancing and flight ban forced many people to stay at home, the hospitality, travel, and entertainment industry most felt the brunt of the pandemic. However, the online gambling industry, especially the sports betting niche, also took its fair share of the blow because of the ban on sporting events. 

But, much to everyone’s surprise, some markets like the online real money gambling in South Africa somehow managed to come out of the pandemic bigger and better as players turn to online casinos, esports, and other gambling games online real money.

The consequences of COVID-19 on the online gambling sector and how the industry survived the pandemic have been the talking point among many industry watchers.

So, this piece will explore the effect of COVID-19 on the growth of the global online gambling industry. Grab a seat! 

  1. A Change in Betting Habits and Behaviors

The social distancing regulation forced people to stay at home. In response, many players who want to participate in online gambling for real money seek an alternate means of expressing their gambling passions. 

Luckily, the online gambling sector was a well-developed and blossoming market before the pandemic. It, therefore, became a good alternative for gamblers to play real money games without losing out on the fun of land-based casinos or exposing themselves to infection. 

The change in gambling habits led to a massive influx of first-time bettors to online betting platforms. Likewise, real money online gambling’s popularity exploded as players searched for the best websites to play slots, poker, scratch games, etc. 

Additionally, features like online tournaments and leaderboard challenges that are not usually present on land-based real money gambling facilities also contributed to the growth of online gambling as they help punters play for a longer time. 

  1. The Rise of eSports

With the halt in sporting events (which in themselves were hubs for betting activities), live bets and the sport betting market nose-dived. 

Naturally, players, who prefer online gambling real money South Africa, veered towards eSports which allowed them to play online simulations of actual sports games. 

Esports tournaments are known to be exciting and highly rewarding. Plus, players can get instant results and do not have to wait till the end of 90 minutes (say they bet on soccer) before game outcomes are decided. Thus, the game quickly became popular among gamblers. 

This is evidenced in the increase in the number of new visitors to eSport websites daily during the pandemic. Many gaming and eSports companies spot this trend and provide helpful content and beginner-friendly offerings to meet the challenges occasioned by the pandemic. 

The proliferation of eSport has helped gambling game online real money market grow as it opens up another sector in the online gambling industry.

  1. Diversification of Sports Betting Sites 

One of the tremendous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the online gambling real money South Africa market was how it crippled sports betting.

This caused sports betting sites to diversify their gambling offerings to cope with the changes in the industry. As a result, many bookmakers who offer only sports betting have now added scratch cards, table games, live dealers, poker, bingo, slot machines, etc., to their game library.

This enables the operators to capture viable profit and retain their clients despite the pandemic, with some going on to become even more formidable in the post-pandemic economy. 

  1. Increased Popularity of Online Gambling Sites

The real money online gambling industry’s growth in terms of players and revenue has stimulated the interest of many investors leading to the launch of new gambling websites. 

As a result, operators now have to jostle for new clients. To strengthen their community and expand their player base, they have doubled down on satisfying customers by providing irresistible offers, bonuses and improving their services.

This healthy competition and aggressive marketing among the real money gambling websites have made real money online gambling even more popular. 

  1. Incorporation of State-Of-The-Art Technologies

Better digital banking options and improved payment processes, bonuses, and offerings are not the only ways online gaming sites have tried to stay competitive in the expanding online gambling industry. Online gambling sites are incorporating intelligent technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT),  Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) to improve their services. These technologies are currently changing the world of online gambling.

For instance, chatbots now assist players in getting faster and quicker responses to their queries, and AI-powered tech is making it increasingly possible for casinos to study player behavior and spot problem gambling early.

Virtual Reality and VR Headsets are increasingly popular as they enable players to participate in a virtual casino where they get to play great immersive games without leaving the comfort of their homes. 

Even though there are trust issues, Blockchain technology is another technology that solves any concerns about transparency as it prevents fraud and builds trust in online gambling sites.

With increased trust in the way gambling websites work, the industry will continue to expand as more players are encouraged to participate in online gambling for real money. 


The online gambling industry is one of the industries that benefited and is still gaining from the COVID-19 pandemic. This article described the pandemic’s effects on the industry and how they affected its growth.

COVID-19 changes players’ gambling habits and helps many gambling websites unlock new opportunities by diversifying their markets. 

The pandemic aided in introducing new technology in the online gambling space as operators strive to provide better services. All of which has led to the boom of the online gambling space. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.