One year and a few months after the pandemic was officially declared in Canada, the effects of the coronavirus continue to reverberate through our society. The data on it is out, and it's clear; the pandemic has changed how we live in very substantial ways. The remarkable thing about the pandemic isn't just the change it has brought up in these past months — it's about their magnitude, and the short while they occurred.
The change wrought the pandemic has affected everything from our economy, to even things like our gambling patterns. When lockdown measures were announced by the government, a wide range of industries was affected. Some businesses, that were deemed essential, stayed open. However, many more got closed. And some of the businesses affected were casinos and gambling houses.
These establishments used to see human traffic in the tens of thousands daily, and all of a sudden, they were mandated to close down. That meant all of their clients had to find another outlet to exert their energies. Under other circumstances, some of these alternative outlets might have included underground gambling spots, illegal gambling meetups, and other such things.
However, the internet made it very easy for people to adapt. Many people who couldn't make their way to a casino to play a game decided that they would play it online instead. This, of course, is a theme of the pandemic. Services that used to be accessible in person were moved online to limit human interaction to the barest minimum. This included education, concerts, justice, and even doctor appointments.
The thing is, unlike physical casinos where you have to make an effort to reach, online gambling apps are nothing but a click away on your mobile phone. People who love to gamble will find it easier to just gamble online than to go to the casino.
Of course, some players would let up on playing because of the lack of access to casinos. But there are many more who will just replace casinos with online gambling spots. Since online gambling is not difficult to access and there are no barriers to entry, it makes it rather easy for gamblers to just continue gambling online. In fact, in terms of ease of access, online gambling today ranks higher than regular casinos.
One may wonder why online gambling is only beginning to rise during the pandemic despite the ease it offers gamblers. The answer to that question is fairly simple. The answer is that the gambling and gaming industry is a very traditional one. Over the years, the industry and its players have been forced to modernize. But this modernization has come in small bits and pieces. That's why so many players prefer to play games in a physical capacity, instead of online.
However, the pandemic provided the industry the perfect opportunity to rapidly modernize without any risk whatsoever. And the gambling industry took that opportunity. Today, online casinos are more popular than they were at any time before now, and interest in them continues to grow. The ease of access and nonexistent barrier to entry serve as great multipliers that will continue interest in gambling for years to come.
This is obviously a net positive for the gambling industry and gamblers in general. Today, people who don’t like the casino environment will find it easier to just go online and play their games without having to bother about the environment. Besides, online gambling doesn’t employ the unique persuasive methods that regular casinos use in getting their customers to stay. So it’s even easier for people to leave games and avoid irresponsible gambling.
For now, there's absolutely no argument or question that online gambling in Canada has increased because of the pandemic. The only question that remains is whether this growth will continue. All metrics point to yes being the answer, and it's difficult to make an opposing argument.