As the UK grapples with yet another coronavirus lockdown, great media attention has been placed on the countless industries struggling to stay afloat in 2020 - and for good reason, much of the world has fallen. in an inevitable recession.
However, while it is not acceptable to put it bluntly, in some markets the pandemic has generated growth. The shift to staying at home and avoiding public gatherings may have destroyed the hospitality and tourism sectors, but a number of industries including logistics food delivery services and online retailers are enjoying good years.
In fact, in many cases a simple redistribution is involved. Wherever an industry has an online or remote equivalent, it is this remote alternative that reap the rewards - and this change is no more evident than in the case of mobile gaming.
While many casinos have been forced to close their doors to comply with government guidelines at regional and national levels, online slots have proven an attractive prospect for a large portion of this consumer base.
Data from Google Trends that covered the UK's first nationwide lockdown showed that searches for `` online casinos '' reached a record level, following the forced closure of physical venues and the temporary suspension of elite sports.
The data also showed that while the number of games of chance was slightly depressed due to the foreclosure, possibly due to taking live sports betting, each individual player increased their session spending during this time.
Not just the new normal
But, as we pointed out at the start of this article, while interest in online casinos has certainly increased due to the societal impacts of Covid-19, the industry had made solid progress before 2020.
The gaming industry has shown strong growth over the past decade - but most of that growth has been attributed to the online sector.
According to market consumer data company Statista, in 2011 the gambling industry's gross gambling return (GGY) in 2011 was £ 8.4 billion. At the end of the decade, it was worth £ 14.4 billion.
Statista estimates the GGY of 'remote' gambling, which includes online, at £ 5.5bn, or more than a third of the total market return. This figure simply eclipses the traditional outlets associated with gambling, including UK casinos (£ 1.05 billion), bingo (£ 0.7 billion) and arcades (less than one half a billion). According to the Gambling Commission, 33.6 million active online gaming accounts existed in 2018.
License to excite
The sentiment surrounding onling casinos over the past decade has changed dramatically, and their growing popularity has been accompanied, by and large, with a consensus that they are as trustworthy as their physical counterparts.
This is largely due to a combination of more sophisticated technology and better user experience provided by online gaming houses, and more robust regulation by industry leaders.
In Britain, the UK Gambling Commission was established in 2005 to regulate gambling on behalf of the UK government, ensuring consumer protection. As a result, casinos - whether online or physical - have been granted licenses provided they meet the necessary regulations.
Like their physical counterparts, online casinos strip everything, including down to the code for their online slots, and expose themselves to rigorous testing and data collection to ensure that 'they are both technologically sound and pay at the required rate.
The Gambling Commission requires online slots to provide a Return to Player Number (RTP) for each activity, ensuring players are aware of their percentage chance of winning before they start playing.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the majority of casino games are all about chance, and therefore easy to calculate the return to the player.
For example, a roulette wheel has a set number of outcomes, and opting for black or red offers almost a 50% chance of winning. The chance of landing on the "zero" green, although an unlikely outcome, is what causes the winning percentage to drop below 50%, giving the house the advantage. This is also what provides variance and an opportunity for the player to win big, if luck sees it.
The increased availability and user experience, coupled with the uncertain future of physical gaming in the COVID era, has led the majority of forecasters to be extremely optimistic about the chances of mobile gaming in 2021.
Technavio report suggests online gaming could grow by up to 19% in 2021, with brands like Mr Gamble well positioned to capitalize on the increased interest of younger age groups and the legalization of online gambling in many countries who had not yet done so.
Please play responsibly (18+ in UK) - check age restrictions before participating
The best time to visit Italy are the months of May, June, and September. Compared to the peak summer months of July and August, these months offer more comfortable temperatures and there are fewer crowds ( except around Easter ). The country experiences four classic seasons per year, although there is a marked difference between the wetter, cooler North and the drier, warmer South. The rainiest months pretty much everywhere are usually October and November.
Fall ( September – November ) : temperatures cool down gradually, although September is usually still very pleasant. Expect crisp fall leaves and some sunnier days, but plan for wet weather too. Fall carries many of the same benefits as spring, but with slightly less predictable weather.
Winter : temperatures in the South remain mild in winter, while Northern Italy is normally wet and cold. Winter in the Italian Alps is fantastic though for skiing and snowboarding, but the ski resorts do get crowded so book early.
Travelers wishing to visit Italy can use a bus, train, plane, or boat to get there. Most tourists arrive by plane though, often landing in Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, the country’s busiest airport. This is the preferred point of entry in Italy when you want to visit Rome, or tour the entire country. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Rome.
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Milan Malpenza Airport ( north ) is the largest international airport in the Milan metropolitan area in northern Italy ( and also the main getaway to the Italian Lakes ). Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Milan.
Venice Marco Polo airport ( north ) is the international airport of Venice. It offers flights to many European metropolitan areas as well as some partly seasonal long-haul routes to the United States, Canada, South Korea and the Middle East. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Venice.