All In, Online Gaming & Gambling
How IP Data Insights Support Growth and Reduce Risk
Predictions for the gaming and gambling industry in 2020 were universally positive. Then COVID-19 swept the world with breathtaking speed. “The economic impact is going to be severe,” predicted one industry publication.
There are no easy answers. But there is a way forward.
The unprecedented impacts of the pandemic – driving people to shelter at home and avoid public gatherings and shutting down sports leagues almost overnight – have deeply affected every corner of the diverse gaming and gambling industry, almost uniformly for the worse.
- Brick and mortar casinos and the in-person experience have been severely impacted. Many casinos simply shut down for a time, and those that have reopened have instituted safety measures that include limits on the number of players at each table and intrusive plexiglass barriers between players and dealers.
- Sportsbooks, which had been expected to see significant growth in 2020, instead took a severe hit when virtually all professional sports leagues around the world shut down. New Jersey sportsbook, for example, saw its March 2020 numbers plunge 50% compared to 2019. Now that sports leagues are beginning to return to play, there are glimmers of hope. But the effects of the shutdown on fan interest are still unknown.
- Lotteries have seen significant sales slumps; one prominent California lottery outlet reported a 98% year-to-year drop in sales, from US$2M in April 2019 to just US$33K in 2020. In April the multi-state Mega Millions lottery eliminated minimum increases in jackpots due to slowing sales as people limited shopping trips and curtailed travel.
- e-Sports wasn’t spared from the showdown despite its roots in play-from-home competition. Numerous tournaments and events were canceled or postponed, and revenues will likely drop well below the pre-pandemic forecasts of US$1B. However, as the pandemic has dragged on, the expansion of virtual competitions and events has helped e-Sports recover more quickly than other segments of the industry.
- Online gambling has been the one consistent bright spot in the gloom. Not surprisingly, online casinos saw an increase in the number of players during the early phase of the pandemic, with a 43% increase in the number of daily online poker players and an astonishing 255% increase in first-time players.
With the effects of the pandemic continuing to affect both travel and public gatherings, it’s clear that in-person gaming and gambling will be slow to recover. The surest path to growth is online.
This whitepaper explores the opportunities and risks of online gaming and gambling, and describes how IP decisioning data can help mitigate the risks of online operations:
- Independently identifying player location
- Identifying logins from risky sources
- Identifying bots and server traffic
- Uncovering anonymous connections
- Ensuring regulatory compliance