Things have changed in all the continents of the world since the outbreak of Covid-19. These changes also affected sports bettors as a recent study shows a decline in their activities since March the 7th.
The report argued that the findings suggest “no relationship” between the unavailability of sports betting events, and an increased frequency and intensity of casino patronage.
This report was based on player data gathered from a “Big time European online gambling operator” with customers based in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany. The study discovered that many sports bettors with the case study operator were casino players who also engaged in sports betting. In the absence of sports activities to bet on, these players also reduced – rather than increased – their spending on a casino.
The authors of the study – Doris Malischnig at the Office of Addiction, Michael Auer of German data company Neccton, Drug Policy of Vienna and Mark D. Griffiths of the International Gaming Research Unit at the University of Nottingham – studied all sports bettors who staked cash on games at least five of the ten calendar weeks between January the 1st, and March the 7th, 2020. The authors examined the activity of players both before the lockdown and until April the 30th, working on a sample of up to 5,396 bettors.
Before the implementation of the lockdown, amongst those who engaged in sports betting in exactly five of the first ten weeks, 76% also played casino games. For people who bet in the sixth, seventh or eighth weeks, as many as 77% played casinos. For those who were betting in nine weeks, this number was 78%, and for those who bet in each of the first ten weeks of 2020, 79% played casino games.
However, the numbers were found to fall across every group after March the 7th.
This means that not only did sports bettors wager less on sports sites that don’t ask for ID (mostly because most events had been canceled by March the 7th), but they also placed less bet on online casino games. What this means is that for the studied online operator, there was no conversion of cash spent on regular sports betting to virtual casino betting.
Among the first five weeks, bettors who were calculated to be 1,184 people, only 60% of them played casino after the 5th week. For the 874 individuals who were betting by the sixth week, this was 62%, and for those 803 customers who were betting in seven weeks, it reduced to 63%.
Of those who placed sports bets in eight of the first ten weeks of 2020, of which there were 743 customers, 68% played casino, and for those placing bets in nine weeks, this figure was 71%.
While the drop in casino activity was quite lower in the remaining 978 customers who placed bets every week before March the 7th, this number was much lower than previously, at 76%.
Although there was no record of online casino gambling becoming more frequent, it turned out that more frequent sports bettors also retained their online casino gambling habits, whereas sports bettors who were less frequent were more likely to stop gambling entirely, the study said.
When customers were also ranked by the amount of money they wagered on sporting activities, again, there was a decline in every cohort’s casino activity. However, in this case, there was an absence of a pattern between the amount of money spent on betting and the decline in casino activity.
Of the people who spent the least on sports bets, a total of 85% played casino games before the lockdown, as compared to 77% afterward. Of the people who spent the most, those who played before were 78%, compared to a whole 68% after. Out of the ten groups, the greatest decline was among the third-highest spenders, and the littlest decline was among the fourth-lowest spenders.
Sports bettors who were more intense did not appear to play any online casino games more or less often when there were no sports betting activities available during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The study took a look into the amounts of money that these players wagered on casino games and discovered that this too was also consistently down according to the appearance of “Safer Gambling Standards”, but yet the most frequent sports bettors had only a small decline.
The authors of the above studies also did well to remind readers that despite the findings of the study, it was still very possible that there had been some form of an increase in online casino play. The authors noted that the rate of casino play could have also increased with other online casino operators in other countries beyond Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Finland, or even after April the 30th, when the coronavirus lockdown measures were still in place in various countries around the world.