The UK biggest bookie firm faced criticisms of taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report, gamblers spent £219 million on Flutter’s online casino games and slot machines.
Flutter operates Betfair, SkyBet, and Paddy Power online gambling sites. The total handle was a fifth higher compared to the same period in 2019. Also, the report sparked fears that British citizens are becoming gambling addicts during the lockdown.
Campaigners and MPs accused gambling companies of taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to offer addictive products. Tory Richard Holden saw the need for proper regulation of the UK gambling industry. Also, he described the gambling industry as cashing in on their customers’ misery for years.
Online bookie software providers expect Flutter top earn £1.3 billion this year. The estimate excluded the company’s US business. Its PokerStars website’s handle went up 75 percent year over year.
Based on gambling software reviews and news sites, people are looking for alternative forms of entertainment during the pandemic. Online gambling is one of the most accessible forms of entertainment because it only requires an internet connection. People can access online gaming through desktops and mobile devices.
According to Flutter CEO Peter Jackson, the closure of retail shops and the cancellation of sports affected their business negatively. However, they were offset by the increased number of recreational customers playing online games and poker across the globe.
Based on reports received by pay per head bookie services providers, GVC increased its online handle by a fifth in the first half of 2020. The firm owns Ladbrokes Coral. William Hill saw its handle increased by a tenth during the same period.
UK bookies began offering players the chance to wager on less popular sports, such as Belarusian football and Russian table tennis, when major sports organizations canceled their tournaments. Consumer groups said that the lockdown led to an increased number of gambling problems because people had to stay indoors for a long time.