According to new research from the University of Bristol, regular gamblers in the UK were more than six times more likely to gamble online during the pandemic than before.
Men and women gambled less frequently during the lockdown. But online gambling – including bingo, poker, and casino games – grew six-fold among regular gamblers.
On the other hand, regular male gamblers were more likely to gamble more frequently during the UK lockdown. And those who gambled only occasionally were more than twice as likely to gamble online.
“This study provides unique real-time insights into how people’s attitudes and gambling behavior changed during the lockdown. It is because people were unable to participate in most social activities,” said lead author Professor Alan Emond of the University of Bristol’s Medical School.
The study included over 2,600 adults, with an average age of 28. It also discovered that men were three times more likely than women to gamble regularly during the lockdown.
“Vulnerable groups may become trapped in a destructive cycle as gambling becomes more widely available through online channels,” Emond added. “To reduce gambling harms, a public health approach needs to be put in place.”