Hello, 2021! We’ve been through one hell of a year. Life in the UK has been completely uprooted due to a global pandemic of unprecedented proportions, and with all this extra time at home, we’ve come to rely on entertainment now more than ever to keep our spirits up.
Thanks to this, Netflix, Amazon Prime and even Peloton subscriptions have boomed, and unsurprisingly, so have visits to online casinos. Online gambling has thrived as a pandemic-proof industry, with people more and more open to letting loose on the reels as an escape from drum reality.
With national health at the forefront of our minds, the online casino industry has thankfully come a long way this year in implementing better protections for vulnerable players; a trend sure to continue into 2021.
Here are (subjectively) the biggest and best bits of news to come out of the casino industry in 2020…
We started the year seeing Government ban the use of credit cards for gambling purposes, a move that has since protected countless people from racking up debts. This was the first of many policy changes that helped shape British gambling into a safer pursuit.
Soon after came the rapid spread of the novel Corona Virus, causing Government to put the country into its first nation-wide lockdown and the closure of highstreet arcades, casinos, bingo halls and betting shops. Did you hear the news that casinos in the Netherlands were reprimanded for advertising their sites as “corona free”?
People were stuck indoors for the majority of the year with nothing to entertain them but their wifi connection. Luckily, we enjoyed some wonderful new releases, including NetEnt Live’s launch on 888 and countless sophisticated new slots.
There was also a significant change made to the way we play slots, with spin speeds slowing down in order to prevent people from betting and losing too much money.
More policy change came in October when UK advertising authorities banned the use of celebrities in gambling ads. This was done to protect children from the appeal of betting.
In November, Safer Gambling Week took place, and we all cheersed to land-based casinos reopening at the end of the second lockdown, only to mourn their re-closing in tier 4 areas a fortnight later.
That same month, the tumultuous US election took place with Biden winning the presidency and Trump claiming it fraudulent, causing mass outrage in betting markets. Bookies made no payouts for those who bet on the election results long into December due to ongoing legal disputes, causing significant uproar online.
We finished the year learning that the minimum age you can play the national lottery was to raise to 18, another move that centres on protecting underage people from gambling harm.
With all this happening in a year we mostly stayed inside, who knows what 2021 could bring!
Happy new year from First Class Slots.