The Impact of COVID-19 on Gambling Preferences: Shifting Trends and Behaviours

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the world. As governments began to take measures to combat the spread of the virus, it became clear that the m gambling industry would be affected. As the number of COVID-19 cases increased, many places where people gambled in person had to close. These included sports betting outlets and major sports leagues. After many events and sports leagues were cancelled, the gambling market shrank, which changed the way people viewed sports betting, at least for a while. One online game that gained attention during this time is Yolo247 Aviator, which we will also talk about.

Changes in Gamblers' Gambling Preferences During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the pandemic, gambling has become more popular and varied. This is especially true for online gambling, where people can turn to in times of stress. Economic instability and the availability of online gambling also played a role in increasing the number of players. 


Different types of gambling had a positive short-term impact. Sales of online lotteries and online casinos doubled, while the pandemic also attracted new players to sports betting. The number of players who opened accounts on online betting platforms increased fivefold. Betting on cyber sports also increased, becoming the only sport to maintain pre-crisis betting levels in 2020.


The lack of sporting events changed the type of betting: people started to place more combination bets. Online poker and the Yolo247 Aviator game became particularly popular. In the first five months of 2020, the number of regular players on Yolo247 increased by 9,700%.

Factors that Influenced Behaviour Change in Gambling Behaviour

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect many areas of life, including the gambling industry. Studies have found that several factors have influenced the change in players' preferences: the convenient format of new games like Yolo 247 Aviator, great rewards, accessibility, convenience, real value, recreation and the possibility of winning. Among the barriers to playing, lack of time, competition stand out. 


The pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of gambling, leading to new social problems. Gambling has penetrated into various social, economic and health spheres. It is important to put mechanisms in place to help mitigate the negative effects of gambling and enhance its positive aspects. Recognising the causes, the importance of rewards and challenges is key. In addition, values such as collectivism (fulfilment of obligations), result orientation (intrigue and passion) and future orientation (optimism and guarantee of rights) emphasise the importance of an integrated approach to gambling, social protection and public health.

Impact on the Gambling Industry and Public Health

Gambling has become an important source of public funding, so there has been a need to reduce gambling harms. The public and regulators are increasingly demanding that the gambling industry respond to consumer vulnerability and public health issues, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Gambling companies are introducing temporary measures and new regulations to prevent the spread of the virus and protect consumer data and rights. These measures include preventing underage gambling and protecting vulnerable groups.


However, new innovations may do more to benefit existing users and cause negative consequences for those suffering from problem gambling. Problem gambling is now often linked to legal cannabis and tobacco/gambling platforms and is becoming part of traditional financial systems. The growing gambling market has surpassed the social and health measures that used to act as a barrier against harmful and addictive behaviour. Many of these measures have now been redirected or fully absorbed by investment and financial operators, increasing the risk of the need for continued investor assistance and political debate around gambling practices in the US.

Conclusion and Directions for Future Research

How will changing gambling preferences affect gambling markets? In which direction will they evolve? This is an important and interesting question that deserves attention. We offer some conclusions for operators and possible future trends that the gaming community should consider.


From an operator perspective, given the rapid growth of the digital market since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear: unless land-based casino operators and service providers develop an online gambling strategy or improve their technology platforms (usability, gaming experience, security and speed), they risk being left behind as user preferences increasingly shift towards online.


Almost all respondents indicated that their gambling behaviour had changed due to the pandemic: the desire to gamble in land-based casinos decreased, while interest in online gambling increased. In conclusion, the results of our analysis show that COVID-19 led to a dramatic change in gambling preferences. This study is important because it is the first to examine the impact of COVID-19 on gambling preferences and provide evidence of changes in online gambling engagement. This impact warrants particular attention to mobile gambling sites.


What can land-based casinos do to remain competitive amid the growing popularity of online gambling? How should mobile platforms respond to the rise of online casinos? While many questions remain unanswered, we hope our analysis has helped to understand the broad implications for the gaming industry in the digital age.