The Impact of COVID-19 on Online Gambling
Despite the rise in online gambling, experts say that federal and state governments still devote very few resources to tracking and treating problem gamblers. This lack of focus can lead to a high rate of gambling addiction.
As casinos and sports arenas around the world have shut down as a result of COVID-19, an increasing number of people are turning to online gambling instead, especially online slot gacor. This is a major concern.
In Sweden, the government imposed temporary restrictions on online gambling in July 2020 to protect minors and people with problem gambling. These restrictions restricted players’ weekly deposits to a maximum of SEK 5,000 ($534), while bonuses had to be limited to SEK 100.
The Swedish government has now decided to lift these restrictions, which were originally in place for an 18-month period. This is a positive move, as it will allow more people to gamble online without risking their financial well-being.
To determine who is at greater risk during a pandemic, it is important to identify the populations that show more pronounced changes in their gambling behavior. Addressing these groups of vulnerable sub-populations can be highly relevant for targeting support at this time (Chamberlain et al., 2017).
A mapping review of peer-reviewed articles was conducted in January 2020. Studies were identified using a combination of search terms, controlled searches, and supplemental databases such as PsycINFO [via OVID], Medline, PubMed, and Web of Science Core Collection.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a topic of discussion for casino owners, as well as for regulators. In Sweden, temporary restrictions were imposed on online gambling to prevent harmful gambling behavior during the crisis.
In its interim report, Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) assessed whether the restrictions had affected players’ behavior and found no evidence that they caused a change in gamblers’ behavior or increased their gambling.
During the crisis, a minority of vulnerable gamblers substituted land-based casino gambling with online casino gambling. However, the study found that this group was mainly male and had gambling problems.
While this is a small sample, the study findings are in line with previous research that showed that people who substituted their gambling habits during a crisis were more likely to engage in problematic gambling. This is in part due to the lower income and problem gambling symptoms of the substitutes.
Despite the US government outlawing interstate wagering on sports and banning all forms of payment processing for online gambling, several states have legalized these activities. In most cases, legal operators are registered with the state and meet licensing requirements.
This legal framework allows individuals to gamble from their homes using a computer or smartphone without the need for travel or time away from work. However, there are many limitations to the legality of online gambling, including the difficulty of verifying that money is being spent on actual gambling.
To assess the impact of COVID-19 on gambling, a systematic review of relevant research is needed. A search of a number of bibliographic databases was conducted during the first week of January 2020 for peer-reviewed journal articles or reports reporting changes in gambling behavior during COVID-19.
There has been a substantial rise in advertising spending for slot terbaru. Although some of this can be explained by the need to fill the void created by many mainstream media outlets, which have struggled to keep up with their advertising revenue over recent years (Babin and Zikmund 2016), there is a growing concern that the advertisements are unethical and promote an unhealthy and potentially risky lifestyle.
The majority of advertisements in this study promoted online casino gambling, even though it was not approved by the government at the time of the survey. In addition, advertisements promoting loans or other financial institutes were also common.
These findings have significant public health implications, particularly when compared with land-based casinos, which are prohibited from promoting high-risk forms of gambling. This means that advertisements for online casinos should be regulated. Alternatively, online casinos may be required to provide further information about their products and services to consumers prior to placing an advertisement.