The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has claimed national lockdowns brought about by the coronavirus outbreak will lead to less online gambling and not more.
It is widely acknowledged in the industry online gaming will see a spike in player activity, as a result of people being at home.
However, the EGBA disputes this, suggesting this school of thought is “unfounded,” pointing to government statistics in Belgium, which say traffic to licensed gambling websites has decreased by 38% from pre-coronavirus levels.
The blog, authored by Secretary General, Maarten Haijer, added sports betting makes up nearly half of Europe’s online gambling activity, suggesting the cancellation of sports events has led to a drop in bookmakers’ website traffic and revenues.
Haijer added: “This is contrary to what many predicted and disproves the concerns about dramatic increases in online gambling, which have underpinned the recent introduction of severe advertising restrictions in some European countries.”
The EGBA also reinforced to operators the need to step up their safer gambling efforts during this difficult period, ensuring they act responsibly, while being mindful of their social responsibilities.
Haijer said: “That’s why online gambling companies should ensure responsible gambling tools are widely available to their customers and these tools are visible, accessible and easy-to-use.”