According to new research, regular players were more than six times more likely to play online than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study, led by the University of Bristol and published today (May 17) in the Journal of Gambling Studies, showed that regular male players were especially prone to play more often online during public closures in the UK, in compared to their previously reported gambling habits.
Although in general men and women played less frequently during the closing, partly due to the closing of the betting shops, some forms of gambling increased. For example, the use of online betting games, including poker, bingo and casino games, multiplied by six among regular gamblers. It was found that respondents who played occasionally were more than twice as likely as before to play online. Those who fought financially before the pandemic were more likely to report the game during closure.
Senior Professor Alan Emond, of the University of Bristol School of Medicine, said: “This study provides unique real-time information on how people’s attitudes and behavior changed during the closure, when everyone was trapped in and could not participate in most social activities, and the findings reveal that while many forms of gambling were restricted, a minority of regular gamblers significantly increased their gambling and online betting. with so many repercussions of the pandemic, inequalities have worsened and particularly vulnerable groups have been worse affected. “
The comparative research used two online questionnaires during the first closure in 2020, which surveyed the same group of adults, 28 years old on average, who had previously been asked similar questions about gambling before the pandemic as part from the renowned Children of the 90s studio. , also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
More than 2,600 adults responded and the results revealed that during closure men were three times more likely than women to play regularly, defined as more than once a week. Drinking a lot, defined as more than six units in a session (equivalent to more than three pints of beer) at least once a week, was strongly related to the usual game between men and women. These trends are likely to be much larger in reality, as the majority (70%) of respondents in closed surveys were women.
Professor Emond, a public health expert, said: “The strong link between excessive alcohol consumption and regular gambling is a special concern, as both are addictive behaviors that can have serious social and health consequences. “With the wider availability of games through different online channels, vulnerable groups could be trapped in a destructive cycle. A public health approach is needed to minimize game-related damage.”
The investigation is based on other evidence, including the Youovov Covid-19 tracker study, which found that regular players were heading to new online options during the blockchain. Commission data from the largest gambling operators in the UK also showed an increase in revenue during online gambling blockchain, especially in sports, which gained popularity dramatically as sporting events were suspended in lives traditionally bet. Previous research published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, led by the University of Bristol, has revealed that children are especially involved with advertising sports games on social media.
Online advertising expert and co-author Agnes Nairn, a professor of marketing at Bristol University School of Management, said: “The results of this study and the trends that are published more widely are quite alarming. as gambling habits change online, there are vulnerable groups, including children and adults who drink a lot can be more easily sucked into these channels.The growing prevalence of work at home is also an important consideration for policy formulation. future, as the temptation to play online, amplified by smart advertising, is always there.Children also fall in. Taking this advertising, especially for sports, on social media and could be locked into addictive habits from a very young age, stricter regulation is needed in this growing field to protect involuntary consumers. “
Alison Clare, director of research, information and knowledge at GambleAware, said: “We know that gambling is part of the daily lives of vulnerable children, young people and adults and this research sheds more light on the impact that Covid has had. 19 and blocking gambling habits for young people GambleAware is committed to ensuring that all those affected by gambling harm have access to the necessary information and advice.All organizations, including national health services and charities, they must work together to reduce stigma and raise awareness about the help and support that is available through the National Gambling Service. “