Earlier today, the BBC reported that Google searches for online casinos have hit an all-time high since UK-wide lockdowns began. The Google Trends tool shows interest in online casinos climbing through January and remaining high throughout the nationwide lockdown.
This growth coincides with the closure of UK land-based casinos, betting shops, and venues such as bars and nightclubs, which often host fruit machines. Clearly, these players are turning to UK online casinos like Mr Green to play the casino games they can’t access in their local areas.
Data from the UK Gambling Commission also shows that while there has been an overall drop in gambling in the UK, players are spending more time and money at online gambling sites on average. Contributing factors could be boredom, isolation, and the desire to alleviate financial stress, a spokesperson for a UK gambling watchdog said.
Searches in England Rocket Despite Gambling Ad Opt-Outs
The data shows that online casino searches in Hull, Stoke-on-Trent, Bradford, Bolton, Stockton-on-Tees, Birkenhead, Leeds, Newcastle, Northampton, and Liverpool were the highest in the UK. These are all located in England, although searches in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland also increased.
This increase comes despite the fact that members of the Betting and Gaming Council voluntarily ceased advertising on TV and radio during the pandemic. Its members include Bet365, William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, and GVC Holdings, among other top UK gambling operators.
Online Casino Searches: Live Gaming Also on the Rise
While all casino games are being played more during the lockdown, the live gaming sector has witnessed a particularly large boom. Several of our reports over the past month align with this story to prove that players are seeking live games to substitute for the lack of table and card games available locally. See our stories on Evolution Gaming’s record revenue and Playtech’s multi-million revenue boost as a result of the ongoing demand for live casino gaming.
Even as the lockdown measures ease and casinos reopen, large numbers of players will be reluctant to return to them until a vaccine or effective treatment is available. Our prediction is that most will continue to enjoy the real casino experience from the comfort and safety of home. In fact, with the growing number of live dealer games that aren’t available in land casinos, such as Deal or No Deal or Super Sic Bo, it’s possible that many players will never go back to their old habits as they realize the benefits of live casinos.
In any case, this data proves that interest in online casinos is growing generally, and the live gaming sector can only benefit from that in both the short and long term.