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How has Gambling Managed to Become so Mainstream and Popular?

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

There was a time in the past where gambling could be seen as something that happened in dingy, smoke-filled rooms where dubious characters played poker. Or, perhaps it elicits thoughts of the Mob running Las Vegas and shady deals and fixed boxing matches.

Las Vegas of the past was very different to today with its glamor, cabaret, international standard restaurants, and state-of-the-art gaming rooms. Today Vegas and other gambling destinations attract millions of visitors every year and the image given off is one of class and money.

How has gambling become something that is seen to be a normal part of life and no longer something is done between a shady bookmaker and his customers?

The advent of the internet

The single biggest thing to change in the gambling industry is the internet and other technology. People can simply log in to casino igre online and play their favorite games. Poker, roulette, baccarat, and more are all available online and not just at set times.

Online casinos run 24/7 so it has attracted people that may have never been able to visit a traditional casino before due to work or other commitments. It could also be that many people felt too shy or self-aware to visit a traditional casino on their own but now they have the opportunity to do this incognito.

This helps to explain the popularity but not necessarily how gambling has become more accepted. One answer to that may be in the advertising.

Glamorous advertising for gambling venues

Certain gambling establishments attract a certain type of customer. Traditional sportsbooks attract many serious gamblers who follow form and bet solely on horses or concentrate on another sport, such as basketball.

Bingo halls have always been seen as the reserve of the older generations furiously marking off numbers on their cards. However, both bookmakers and bingo halls have given themselves make-overs. While bingo halls have closed in some regions, the popularity has grown online.

Marketing campaigns have targeted younger generations for sports betting and bingo by using good-looking young models, exciting locations, simulated wins, and even EDM music in their advertising campaigns. This has had the effect of enticing new players online.

Sports betting is worth over $200 billion worldwide and the new look that marketers are giving the industry is intended to tap into a new generation and their bank balances.

How Covid helped increase the popularity of gambling

Everyone understands that the pandemic has hit numerous businesses and individuals in many ways. Financially the traditional gambling industry was hit hard, with enforced closures due to social restrictions meaning revenues were slashed.

Las Vegas is starting to resemble a ghost town as its usual 40 million visitors fail to return to the bright lights. As lockdowns were enforced, people became restless and looked for entertainment. The most obvious place to find some fun when locked indoors is on the internet.

From the scourge of Covid came some good news for certain businesses. Disney+ launched and received more subscribers than it was expecting. Netflix gained millions of new subscribers by offering free trials and then hooking them as the pandemic continued. And, the gambling industry’s online sector grew unexpectedly.

People who had never gambled before joined an online casino and started playing slots and poker. Players who enjoyed regular visits to traditional casinos decided to give online gambling a go.

Gambling has become more accessible

Another reason that gambling has become more popular and certainly more mainstream is that it is extremely accessible. Slot games are available to download, poker tournaments can be played on a tablet, and online casinos are just a click away.

No longer do you have to consider dress codes for casinos or memberships. Most people have access to a mobile device and this is all that is needed for going online and placing a bet or playing a few hands of poker.

There are things to look for in an online casino and if you are interested then make sure you use a reputable site. Online casinos and sportsbooks are generally very safe and once you have checked they are licensed and the website is secure you can start to play.

Online sportsbooks make things simpler

Many people have likely been put off entering a traditional bookmaker or sportsbook simply because they are intimidated or don’t understand how to place a bet. Online sportsbooks make everything much simpler. When someone looks at placing a bet the platform will show all the options, the odds, and also what you will win depending on how much you bet.

Likewise, casinos attract people who want to learn how to play poker and other games but don’t know where to start.

Free to play games and bonuses

If you don’t know how to play poker or understand basic strategy for blackjack you probably shouldn’t sit down at a card table in a casino. However, online is a different matter. You can download a card game and practice for free and learn the rules without any fear of losing or embarrassment.

Online casinos often let players use free-to-play games to get used to poker or other card games before depositing money. They also entice more players with free bonuses.

The legality of sports betting

This is something that is also changing across the states. Many US states do not allow sports betting and especially online. This is starting to change as local governments realize the earning potential in taxes from sports bets.

Before you indulge in any gambling check it is legal in your current country or region.


People have always enjoyed gambling and poker nights between friends are a popular event in many countries. However, due to Covid, the internet, and some smart advertising, gambling is enjoying something of a golden moment, at least online.

It remains to be seen how the traditional world of gambling will bounce back from the pandemic but with soccer being the most popular sport in the world and the European Championships coming up there will no doubt be at least some people hitting the high street bookmaker.