The Covid-19 lockdown would seem to have been a good thing for people suffering from forms of problem gambling. With virtually nothing to bet on and nowhere to bet, you would think there would be fewer problem gamblers. Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia set out to find out just what the impact of the lockdown was on problem gamblers. Chief investigator Sally Gainsbury, co-investigator Alex Blaszczynski and their team surveyed 764 Australian adults (85 percent male, aged 18-82 years) who had gambled in the past 12 months. The study was conducted in May 2020 and showed that nearly three in four participants reported gambling less frequently during the shutdown, and most did not increase their online gambling frequency. Individuals at moderate risk of gambling harms were more likely to report increases in gambling frequency, and higher problem gambling severity was associated with increases in gambling expenditure. However, gamblers afflicted with either moderate or severe problem gambling risks were more likely to increase their spend during the lockdown.
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