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Dawning of a New Era in Sports Betting and iGaming

At the end of 2021 the world is still in the heat of a pandemic, the new COVID variant Omicron is starting to spread, and countries are applying new restrictions and closing off their borders globally. What can we expect from Omicron? How worried should we be? Scientists described the new strain as more rapidly advancing and more infectious than other variants. The concern now is how radically different is Omicron from the initial virus that emerged in 2019. But it will take weeks of testing to know more about Omicron's impact on the world.

Yet again businesses and public events would need to adapt to the new restrictions and apply new measurements for the safety of their customers. Just as the Japanese authorities exercised during the Olympics Games in 2021 without the spectators, for example, we at Uplatform believe that we have successfully adapted and learned how to run our business in light of the new norms – providing the best quality solutions to our clients.

So while we wait for the situation to unfold with Omicron, let’s see if and how the COVID pandemic will change the face of the betting and iGaming industry.

iGaming and Covid-19 – viability in times of change

At the start of 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation accelerated, leaving many concerned about the future and some in the business media predicting dire outcomes. Land-based casinos and betting shops were forced to close. Travel restrictions, quarantines, sporting events canceled, and growing general uncertainty of lockdowns and how and when events throughout the world will go ahead, all made an impact and significantly influenced the industry.

Unfortunately, many of these concerns were legitimate; nonetheless, the betting and iGaming industry demonstrated resilience throughout the pandemic and pressed forward. The reality is that there are readily available solutions for businesses that have proved effective and have continued to grow. If you have a gambling operation or are considering starting one, continue reading to learn more about optimizing your business and how enterprises have responded to the changing times.

Gambling behavior and COVID

Individuals sought various kinds of entertainment during lockdowns. Some turned to gambling as a form of entertainment, spending more time playing online due to temporary limitations prohibiting people from visiting land-based casinos and betting shops. While this is fantastic news for operators and betting and iGaming enterprises, we must keep in mind the impact COVID had on mental health and addiction. As a result, operators should closely observe and recognize their customer’s playing and betting habits and take appropriate steps to promote responsible gambling.

Due to the considerable amount of free time they now have, gamblers routinely place bets, resulting in significant losses and the establishment of addictive behaviors and habits. As a result, all gaming providers must provide responsible gambling services to limit these potential hazards and aid players who have been affected. As a committed business partner in the betting and iGaming industries, Uplatform promotes responsible gambling and has incorporated ethical standards into all of our products and services. Every partnership that provides online gambling platforms and services is expected to adhere to and maintain ethical and accountable promotional and marketing in safe online environments.

Operational Diversity

Many operators that were reliant on offline events looked for sustainable solutions and did not wait and anticipate activities outside their control, such as the uncertainties surrounding sporting leagues and event cancellations. Offering product variety presented such operators a reliable option; for example, diversifying with slots and casino games into their portfolio enabled them to continue operating and delivering a valuable income source. Diversifying offerings has also provided wide-ranging advantages for enterprises that adopted these solutions. Capturing more and more players – from conventional casino players who like games like slots, Dice, Baccarat Roulette, and poker and appealing to younger generations with the fast-paced dynamics of skill-based games, businesses expanded their operations and benefited over a wider generational spectrum.

Another direction of diversification is expanding your portfolio with esports and virtual sports events. Many experts predicted that esports and virtual sports would continue to grow and thrive, and the team at Uplatform was among those that forecast the rise. The expansion of esports is likely to continue in the next few years, with a projected increase of $1.4 billion by 2024. The growth rate is expected to reach 25% by 2020, with North America accounting for more than a third of it as the region becomes more informed about and engaged in esports events. With the rise of interest in esports and virtual sports, we can expect to see a boost in betting on esports.  Much to the astonishment of some, esports and virtual sports have made enormous strides during the Covid pandemic. Even before the pandemic, Uplatform recognized the appeal of esports and virtual sports, offering partnered clients an extensive portfolio that included Call of Duty, League of Legends, Angry Birds, World of Tanks, and virtual sports such as football, motorsports, horse and greyhound racing.

Although, they have yet to achieve their full potential. Esports and virtual sports have undoubtedly enabled betting enterprises to survive and profit throughout the covid crisis, thanks to being one of the only viable sports betting alternatives and the exciting entertainment these sports provide a vast and growing playing audience.

The move to Online

As the gambling world evolves, so does the interest of operators seeking a seamless and quick transition to online, and not just business affected by COVID. A significant number of studies on the increase of internet gambling have been conducted in the last few years. The vast majority of data points to a rise in internet gambling – the extent is forecast to double in the upcoming years, from the current 59 billion USD to 92,9 billion USD in 2023.  However, this development has sped up some operations with the momentary closing of some bet shops and land-based casinos.

Seeing this trend, Uplatform has developed an omni-channel solution to guarantee that players enjoy a seamless transition between land-based and online environments. Our omni-channel solution maximizes both retail and online experiences. Players can sign up for and use a single shared loyalty system that covers online and offline with a single account, allowing them to select where they use their points. Furthermore, our omnichannel uses a single wallet; players can rapidly move funds between all channels, enhancing user convenience. Omni-channel is a practical solution for many operators, allowing our partners to combine their retail and online operations seamlessly.

Conclusion

The future remains bright. Looking ahead, there are several positive insights from the pandemic that point to future developments that will not be just one of those passing industry fads. The prospect that COVID-19 will be around for a lot longer, and the challenges that live-sports events may face, increased interest in online gaming may accelerate a transformation that has already begun. Being willing to make effective adjustments, such as diversification of products with a compressive and diverse range of products, provides a significant income potential for businesses. With one significant takeaway, the pandemic has reminded our industry that there is still a market of highly interested players looking for highly engaging and quality gaming entertainment.

Introducing new products or scaling your operations seems complicated, especially if you’re new to the industry or unsure about how to approach it. However, this does not have to be the case. The Uplatform team of experienced professionals is ready to assist you with your needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow and thrive!