GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 48 - December 2020

uman beings are surprisingly resistant to change, unless that change is personally beneficial to themor the people and principles they hold dear. At times of crisis, most people will accept or endure change, but take comfort in the knowledge that it is short term and that at some point things will go back to normal. So, how does this all help predict the post lock-down land- scape? The current crisis has been ongoing for months (ma- ternity leave, sabbaticals and career breaks all last longer), not years, so not long enough for any new habits to start forming. We are already talking about “easing” and “returning to normal” again. Set against a background of needing to get the economy moving again, fear of job losses, the discovery that for many the grass of working from home isn’t quite as green as it looks, and the challenges of juggling work and home-schooling, it can be suggested that with the exception of some minor shifts, there is a good chance that the “new normal” is likely to look remarkably like the “old normal.” This means that, for many industries, life will over time get back to some form of “normal.” But there will be a few exceptions to the rule. For those in travel, hospitality, sport and leisure -- including the betting and gambling sector -- life after lockdown may never be the same again. For starters, any business sector or industry unable to trade during the pandemic, and that does not have emergency reserves or government bailouts to fall back on, is at risk. Those who will continue to be subjected to social distancing or similar measures after lockdown such as travel, hospitality, sport and leisure will be at greater risk. This is challenging enough, but throw in a couple more curve balls and life on the other side for the betting and gambling industry starts to look decidedly trickier. Betting and gambling is a leisure activity linked to disposable income. It is something people chose to do for different reasons, but mainly entertainment and with money they can afford to spare. Uncertainty about jobs and job security has reduced the amount of money flowing into non-essential expenditures and this includes betting and gambling. BY CHRISTINA THAKOR-RANKIN With a global pandemic creating greater obstacles for iGaming affiliates and operators – more regulation, players with less disposable income and a drastic change in spending habits – Christina Thakor-Rankin wonders what our industry will look like in life after lockdown. The changeswill help shake things up , curtailing the activities of those whogive affiliates abad rap , while opening up a wholenewworldof opportunity and innovation for the good ones willing toembrace change . G P W A t i m e s . o r g 28