Online betting surges among young people during pandemic

Regular gamblers were more than six times more likely to bet online during the pandemic than before the health crisis, researchers have found. Read more: Online betting surges among young people during pandemic

Online betting surges among young people during pandemic

Regular gamblers were more than six times more likely to bet online during the pandemic than before the health crisis, researchers have found.

A study by Bristol University found that young male gamblers were particularly prone to a flutter online during the first lockdown.

The research, published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, revealed that online gambling, including casino and bingo games, increased sixfold among regular punters during the crisis.

During the first lockdown the researchers questioned 2,600 young adults who had been asked similar questions before the pandemic as part of the Children of the 90s study of more than 14,000 people born in the Avon area in 1991 and 1992.

The rise in online gambling was not limited to regular gamblers. Occasional punters were found to be more than twice as likely to place a bet online than before the pandemic.

Alan Emond, the lead author and an emeritus professor at the University of Bristol Medical School, said that the research gave a unique insight into how behaviour changed during lockdown.

“The findings reveal that although many forms of gambling were restricted, a minority of regular gamblers significantly increased their gambling and betting online,” he said. “As with so many repercussions of the pandemic, inequalities have been exacerbated and particularly vulnerable groups were worse affected.”

The study found that those with financial problems before the pandemic were more likely to gamble during lockdown. Men were three times more likely than women to have a bet more than once a week. The research also found that drinking more than three pints of beer at least once a week was linked to regular gambling.

Emond said: “The strong link between binge drinking and regular gambling is of particular concern. With the wider availability of gambling through different online channels, vulnerable groups could get caught in a destructive cycle.”

Emond added that “a public health approach” was needed to minimise the dangers of gambling.

The study builds on the growing research into gambling habits during the pandemic. Experts from the universities of Glasgow and Stirling found in March that one in six gamblers started a new form of betting during the first lockdown, with one in three placing bets more frequently.

Agnes Nairn, co-author of the Bristol study, said: “As gambling habits shift online, vulnerable groups including children and adults who drink heavily may be more easily sucked into these channels. Stricter regulation is needed in this growing field to protect unwitting consumers.”

Read more:
Online betting surges among young people during pandemic

Source : Business Matters More   

What's Your Reaction?

like
0
dislike
0
love
0
funny
0
angry
0
sad
0
wow
0

Next Article

Delaying UK’s border controls made no sense in face of India’s plight

There were warning signs in late March that something terrible was unfolding in India. Case rates for Covid-19 were climbing. Read more: Delaying UK’s border controls made no sense in face of India’s plight

Delaying UK’s border controls made no sense in face of India’s plight

There were warning signs in late March that something terrible was unfolding in India. Case rates for Covid-19 were climbing.

It now seems likely that a fast-spreading strain — the Indian variant — added to the surge. Yet the world’s largest religious festival, the Kumbh Mela, went ahead in mid-April. In the town of Haridwar a million people jostled for a ritual plunge in the Ganges.

Large political rallies were held with no social distancing; India’s vaccine roll-out was shambolic. Within weeks hospitals were running out of oxygen.

Narendra Modi, the prime minister, has been accused of complacency — and UK ministers now face accusations that they, also, were too slow to respond to the Indian emergency.

Yesterday Matt Hancock defended the decision to allow passengers from India into England until April 23. India was reporting more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by April 5; on April 19 Boris Johnson cancelled a planned trade mission to Delhi.

A scientific adviser to the government said that ministers had been slow to act. Professor Susan Michie, of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said: “The general consensus among scientists I know is [that] it didn’t make sense to delay border controls given what was happening in India.”

Pakistan and Bangladesh were added to the red list on April 9, meaning that foreigners who had travelled to those countries in the previous ten days were refused entry. At the time they had 21 and 43 cases per 1,000,000 people, respectively. India had 84 confirmed cases per 1,000,000 people but was put on the red list only a fortnight later.

Hancock said the numbers were misleading because India does more testing than its neighbours.

The decision to bar travellers from Bangladesh or Pakistan was based on the proportion testing positive after arriving in England, he said. On April 9 the share of positive travellers for Pakistan and Bangladesh was three times higher than for India. When rates for Indian travellers began to climb, it was added to the red list, he said.

The government has noted that the strain in Indian was not officially designated a variant of concern until May 6.

Experts are not convinced. Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said: “By the last week in March it was very clear that the epidemic in India was running out of control. As early as March 26, India had twice as many cases per head as Pakistan and was increasing rapidly — so India should have been on the list.

“To argue that a [variant of concern] was not present in India when so few infections are being sequenced is to miss the point. Also, when India was placed on the red list to give people such a long period of notice was always going to cause problems.”

What now awaits to be seen is whether the Indian variant is the equivalent of a English spring shower or a South Asian monsoon. “It is not until strains become widespread in a country with sufficient scientific infrastructure and detailed surveillance systems, that the real-world characteristics of the variant can be reliably assessed,” Professor Andrew Hayward, of University College London, said.

Government advisers are reasonably certain that it has higher transmissibility than the Kent variant, which placed the NHS under immense strain over the winter, though that involved a largely unvaccinated population.“This conclusion is primarily based on rapid emergence in some UK areas where [the Kent variant] was being effectively controlled by social distancing and vaccination, as well as the rapid emergence in India,” Hayward said.

Early data suggests that vaccines should work against it, though much more work is needed to be sure. “We have no evidence that case fatality is increased but we also have no evidence that it is not,” Hayward said. At present, then, we are waiting with bated breath to learn just how much of a concern the variant is.

What the increase in transmissibility actually amounts to may prove key. A 50 per cent rise might allow the virus to outrun the vaccination scheme, potentially sending large numbers of people to hospital. A smaller increase, say below 20 per cent, would keep summer intact.

Read more:
Delaying UK’s border controls made no sense in face of India’s plight

Source : Business Matters More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.