As the world continues to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are stepping out of their homes to engage in real-world activities. But could this be affecting the online gambling industry that saw massive growth during the lockdowns?

In the early days of the global health crisis, many people turned to video streaming and online gambling to ease their boredom while in quarantine. The two industries witnessed a skyrocketing boost in their earnings because the public deemed them the go-to indoor activities while staying home.

Video streaming rose by as much as 31% in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, while online gambling surged by as much as 8.1% in the entire 2020, according to a study conducted by the UK Gambling Commission.

In the US, online gambling saw an unprecedented rise, recording a 44% boost in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the final quarter of 2019. It was somehow inevitable since the online betting landscape in America had been seeing an influx of players even before the pandemic.

Unfortunately, since all gambling action took place virtually, it was easy for those struggling with gambling addiction to take advantage of the situation. The National Council on Problem Gambling executive director Keith Whyte urged the government in 2021 to quell the threat of gambling addiction.

However, Whyte acknowledged that it would be challenging to determine the scope of the problem since many states have been working to legalize online gambling in their areas.

The surge in online punters was probably due to either a rise in first-time players, or the increase in activity of regular gamblers. The closure of many brick-and-mortar casinos and the suspension of live sports prompted seasoned gamblers to turn to online casinos.

As far as COVID-19 is concerned, the general population appears ready to return to normalcy. So far, many online casinos are still seeing a spike in their user base, and it has been more than a year since the lockdowns got lifted. Only time will tell if more people will continue to get their dose of online gambling in front of their screens moving forward.

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