Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Online Gamblers’ Behaviour? We Asked 15,354 Players: Here’s What We Learned

Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Online Gamblers’ Behaviour? We Asked 15,354 Players: Here’s What We Learned image

The year 2020 marked the beginning of a new era, defined by a lot of uncertainty and unexpected changes. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most people’s lives were turned upside down and as a result, their habits changed too.

Some learned how to cook better, others went on regular (online) shopping sprees, and some turned to online gambling. With this in mind, we decided to create a survey to see to what extent gambling behavior has changed as a result of this global pandemic.

For the purpose of our survey, we wanted to collect as much information about players’ habits as possible, so we opted for a multi-question format. This enabled us to correlate the data we received and draw some interesting conclusions.

The main question we asked was whether our respondents gambled before the COVID-19 pandemic started. If their answer was yes, then they unlocked 3 follow-up questions, which focused on time and money spent gambling and the openness to new game types. ­

The results of our survey revealed that there has been a significant influx of new players in the context of the pandemic. However, we don’t have enough data to demonstrate that the increase is due exclusively to the pandemic or other factors.

Still, we found the data collected via our survey to be very interesting, so we invite you to check out our key findings down below.

 

Key Findings
 

67% of the survey respondents said that they gambled prior to the pandemic, while 33% indicated that they did not gamble before
 

 

50% of the respondents declared that they spent more time gambling since the pandemic started
 

 

44% of survey participants said they spent more money on gambling since the pandemic started
 

77% of people who spent more time also spent more money gambling online
 

 

The majority of our respondents (72%) declared they tried new game types since the pandemic started
 

 

Survey settings
 

What questions did we ask?
 

Survey Questions

The first and main question of our survey was:

If the answer is to the first question was YES, 3 follow-up questions were unlocked:

What were the available answers?
 

To the main question, respondents could answer with YES or NO.

To the follow-up questions, respondents could answer with YES, NO or SAME AS BEFORE.

 

Additional details
 

Survey Details

67% of survey respondents said that they gambled prior to the pandemic, while 33% indicated that they did not gamble before 

Insight 1 COVID-19

The answers to our main question – Did you gamble before the COVID-19 started? - revealed perhaps the most interesting finding. Over 30% of our respondents indicated they had not gambled before the pandemic, which means they started to do so over the past year.

From the data we collected, it’s impossible to demonstrate whether the new players started gambling due to the pandemic or if there were other contributing factors.

Judging from the results of our survey, we noticed no significant differences between male and female players in terms of gambling habits.

Conclusion: The first question in our survey confirmed our suspicions that the COVID-19 pandemic did have an effect on the gambling world, making more players discover online casino games. It is true that we cannot determine exactly the extent of this effect. As we mentioned before, the influx of new players may have been influenced by other factors apart from the pandemic. 

Still, seeing as a significant percentage of players indicated they started gambling during this time, we can assume the pandemic played a big role. It’s also important to mention that the pandemic may have influenced online gambling in an indirect way: land-based casinos closed their doors as part of the many national lockdowns that were imposed, which may have led to some players turning to online gambling as a viable alternative.

 

50% of the players declared that they spent more time gambling since the pandemic started

Insight 2 COVID-19

Half of all respondents who participated in our survey declared that they spend more time playing casino games since the pandemic. Again, we found no significant variations between male and female respondents in regards to the time spent gambling. 

Geographically speaking, 57% of respondents from Canada declared they spent more time gambling, while at the other end of the spectrum, only 27% of British players indicated they are spending more time gambling due to the pandemic.

The biggest decline in time spent gambling was observed in New Zealand (21%), while the most noticeable increase was registered in Canada (57%). Half of all UK players who participated in our survey reported no significant changes in their time spent gambling during the pandemic.

Covid Survey Gambling Behavior Chipy.com Time spent

Conclusion: Looking at the answers to the second question of our survey, related to time spent gambling due to the pandemic, we are even more inclined to believe that the pandemic did have a definitive impact on gambling behavior. 

Under the new circumstances - isolation, more time spent at home, more leisure time - a large number of players turned to casino gambling as a pastime more frequently than before. 

The differences that can be observed between various geographical locations may arise from different isolation protocols, cultural particularities and more. 

 

44% of respondents said they spent more money on gambling since the pandemic started
Insight 3a COVID-19

A large number of respondents reported an increase in their spending when it comes to gambling online during the pandemic. This is an interesting finding, keeping in mind that more time spent gambling does not automatically correlate with more money.

Judging by the data we collected, male players spent more money than female players, by up to 14%. Conversely, 26% more female respondents than male declared that they spent less on gambling.

Insight 3B COVID-19

At a geographical level, Canada, the US and the Netherlands recorded the most significant spending increase. At the other end of the spectrum, South Africa, Germany and the UK recorded the most remarkable spending decline.

Covid Survey Gambling Behavior Chipy.com Money spent

Conclusion: The answers to the third question in our survey, related to money spent gambling, revealed some more interesting insights. We already know that half of our respondents spent more time gambling due to the pandemic, but not everyone gambles in the same way. 

Some players choose to play for free, others like the thrill and added benefits of playing for real money and many players indulge in both. Seeing that such a high percentage of players reported they spent more money on gambling due to the pandemic, we can deduce that they are more willing to risk more for better rewards, regardless of the time spent playing. 

 

77% of people who spent more time also spent more money gambling online

Insight 4 COVID-19

Correlating the answers from several questions we also noticed that the majority of people who spent more time on gambling also spent more money, in the context of the pandemic. This might seem like a logical outcome, but it actually depends on individual gambling behaviors and players’ willingness to invest in the game they play. 

Geographically speaking, 45% of Canadian players, 40% of US players and 38% of Dutch players who participated in our survey reported that they spent both more time and more money gambling during the pandemic. On the other hand, only 22% of UK respondents said they spent more time & money gambling online during the pandemic.

Insight 4a COVID-19

Conclusion: Building on the previously stated idea that the pandemic did change gambling behavior, we can see that more time spent on online gambling may also mean more money. With more time on their hands, casino players decided to also risk more money in their gameplay, which increases their chances to access greater rewards.

 

The majority of our respondents (72%) declared they tried new game types since the pandemic started

Insight 5 COVID-19

Many players who participated in our survey showed a willingness to explore new game types in the context of the pandemic. This change was seen both in male and female players, although we noticed that men were slightly more open than women to try new game types.

Out of all respondents, Canadian, South African and US players were most interested in trying new game types, while UK players were more conservative and stuck to their established game preferences. 

Covid Survey Gambling Behavior Chipy.com Casino Game Types tried

Looking at the data from previous questions, we also noticed that 82% of people who spent more time gambling also tried new game types. This makes sense, seeing as more time equals more opportunities to expand one’s range of preferences.

Conclusion: This final finding fits perfectly with all the other insights we have gathered from our survey. The COVID-19 pandemic allowed many players to have more leisure time which led to different changes in their gambling behavior. 

Exploring new game types can feel refreshing and rewarding for players and it's a great reason to break the routine. It’s also a welcome change for software developers of less popular game types as well. 

As with previous findings, it’s hard to determine whether this change is due exclusively to the pandemic, seeing as there’s no data showing how often players try new games in “normal” times.

 

Final thoughts
 

We are pleased to see that the information we collect via our survey produced so many great insights on the changes in gambling behavior as a result of the pandemic. As we stated in the beginning, our intention was to understand to what degree has the pandemic affected gambling habits. 

Seeing as this global health crisis has altered the course of our lives and affected many industries, we assumed it had a distinguishable effect on the gambling industry as well, and on gambling behavior at the individual level implicitly.

Indeed, the answers provided by our participants confirmed our suspicions and indicated that several changes occurred as a result of the pandemic. A significant percentage of players took up gambling during this period, others increased the amount of time and money spent on this pastime and some even ventured to try new game types.

If you wish to read more about casino games, catch up on the latest industry news or check out our exclusive interviews with popular industry representatives, visit our News Page. There you can also find our previous article based on a survey where we learn about players’ favorite slot features.

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