Analytics firm AlphaBeta and Illion, an Australian credit bureau, combined their resources for a research study to look into the state of online gambling during the Coronavirus shutdown. The study revealed a 67% overall increase in the online gambling sector of Australia over the past week alone, with definite links to the shutdown of non-essential services.
Under the hood
250,000 Australian consumers were surveyed as part of the study with the data showing that people have turned to real money online gaming for their entertainment needs while they are stuck at home. Other industries have also seen a significant rise in activity, the food delivery industry has seen a 63% increase in activity with online retail and subscription services showing an increase of 61%.
Data from asgam.com
The study does not go to the extent of breaking down the data to demonstrate how consumer engagement is split between legal and illegal online gambling. Australia has some strict rules surrounding gambling, with Wagering and sports betting being allowed but poker and online casino games technically prohibited by the Interactive Gambling Act.
The uptick in online gambling activity is an international trend. In the US, an online social poker operator, Global Poker, has noted that participation in online poker has increased by almost 40% since lockdown began in various states around the nation. First-time poker player numbers have risen dramatically by 225%
Before the lockdown, around 7% of the American population had at some point played poker live, online, or with friends regularly.