After the year we've had, there is no doubt that online and offline gambling will never be the same. Those who play poker online might have already noticed some emerging trends, but are they here to stay?
Since COVID-19 took over our lives, the online gambling industry has been greatly affected. More people joining online venues as land-based casinos closed their doors, and little by little – they saw some drastic changes taking place.
It is time to take a look at what those new trends mean for the industry. In addition, we will try to understand what gambling will look like soon!
Top 3 Gambling Predictions for the Upcoming Year
Online poker - and gambling in general - is about to undergo a lot of changes. Let's take a look at what the industry might look like in 2021.
Change in Demographics and Gambling Patterns
As people were encouraged to remain indoors this year, those who never dreamed of betting found themselves joining online poker rooms. Over the past few months, the average player was younger, willing to take more risks when placing bets. In the UK, the percentage of players between the ages of 35 and 44 increased from 25.1% to 29.3% in a span of a year. In the 16-24 age group, the numbers have increased from 13.8% to 16.9% [source].
Also, the Australian Institute of Family Studies published a new report regarding the changes in gambling patterns this year, and the results were interesting. When it comes to gambling frequency, 32% of those who answered the survey gambled 4+ times a week - in comparison to 23% before the pandemic. 78% of players had to play online, an increase of 16% compared to pre-COVID stats.
Also, male players – especially young ones – were more inclined to place large bets while betting. Players under the age of 34 were ready to spend about $1,075 per month - in comparison to $687 before COVID-19. Female players, however, placed smaller bets during this time. Their average was $100 per month, while it stood at $250 in previous years.
Wire Act Will Lose Relevance
For many years, the Wire Act has been a source of controversy in the US. While Obama was in power, the DOJ stated the law didn't encompass online gambling, which made it easier for online venues to obtain a license. However, that all changed under Trump's administration.
In recent years, the DOJ adopted the stance that the Wire Act was relevant for all types of gambling apart from sports betting. That made the legalization process of online betting much harder than it needed to be.
But now that Biden is entering the White House, maybe things will go back to the way they were beforehand.
In addition to that, more and more states legalize online poker all on their own. As more states join the online gambling market, there is no longer a need for a federal law to address the issue. Hopefully, in the upcoming year, the Wire Act will become irrelevant, and online casinos will be able to get licensed with minimal fuss.
New Betting Options Will Emerge
At the beginning of 2020, when all sports events were canceled, it looked like the sports betting market would collapse. However, the exact opposite happened. Once races and sports events were restored, people bet more than ever, and the market didn't suffer as anticipated.
However, it became clear that in this day and age, sports are somewhat unreliable. Online bookmakers had to look for original ways to attract the attention of gamblers, offering new betting options. People bet on the outcome of the Oscars, political events, and even virtual sports.
It is clear that in the future, more sophisticated and unpredictable betting options will join classic betting, and players will be all the better for it.
The online gambling industry has changed forever, as poker and other gambling options have been affected by the recent health crisis. Will any of the predictions we've mentioned come true? Let's wait and see!