How Quarantine Forms Gambling Habits

During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people all over the world were forced into quarantine and had to adapt to a new way of life. Although most countries have now lifted the most severe restrictions and things are slowly returning to normal, some of the effects remain. One of the biggest impacts of the quarantine was that a large number of people were stuck inside for many weeks. During this time, many people looked for new ways to keep themselves entertained, including online gambling.

Online gambling has the potential to be a lot of fun and was no doubt a help for those that couldn’t leave the house. Still, gambling real money can be incredibly risky and may even lead to gambling habits. Some experts believe that the global quarantine has had a major impact on mental health, which could have a knock-on effect of encouraging risk-taking behavior. If not kept in check, this could lead to gambling habits that persist long after the quarantine is over.

To make sure that gambling doesn’t become a problem, players must make sure they gamble responsibly. In this article, our responsible gambling expert Maunu Seppinen takes a look at how quarantine affected gambling habits and how to gamble responsibly.

COVID and Gambling

Concerns have been raised about the impact of COVID-19 on gambling behavior. Problem gambling and gambling disorder are conditions that affect people all over the world. In the past year, problem gambling was reported to affect between 0.1 to 5.8% of the general population in a variety of countries and continents. Online gambling sites have become more popular than ever in Finland and across Europe thanks to accessibility and casinobonukset.

Previous national financial crises have been demonstrated to have an impact on gambling behavior. The COVID-19 problem, as well as the confinement and other restrictions that come with it, is an unprecedented situation. The crisis has affected people’s social lives as well as caused financial implications for the population, with many unable to work. These changes include an increase in time spent at home and a greater risk of affecting gambling behavior.

In some countries such as Sweden, restrictions were placed on gambling companies to help reduce the number of gambling adverts during the pandemic. These measures were brought in to try to avoid problem gambling habits from developing in the population at a time when people were more likely to be susceptible to this advertising.

Gambling in Finland

Recently, the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland organized a study to explore gambling and its effects on the population. The study was commissioned in 2019, giving an insight into gambling behaviors before the pandemic, but the data can also be used to make predictions of how Finnish gamblers might be affected in the wake of the quarantine.

The study was conducted through telephone interviews, and there were close to four thousand participants. It found that around 3% of Finns are at risk of problem gambling. However, this number has decreased over the years. Risky gambling behavior has decreased based on previous studies on the same topic, and Finland’s responsible gambling measures are partly responsible.

How Companies Can Encourage Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling means playing sensibly and not gambling more than you can afford to lose. Over the last few years, a number of countries, including Finland, have adopted responsible gambling measures to help reduce the chance of people developing a gambling habit. While gambling can be fun, it can also lead to financial issues, debt, and poverty if it’s allowed to spiral out of control. To help encourage responsible gambling, many countries have made changes to regulations that mean gambling sites and providers have to implement responsible gambling tools and measures.

These responsible gambling measures are even more important in the face of a potential gambling crisis developing in the wake of the pandemic. They are increasingly being adopted by major betting and gambling operators in order to avoid regulations and help players stay safe while having fun. Companies looking to set up an online casino or betting site should make use of them. Examples of responsible gambling measures and tools include:

  •       Lower betting limits – Most gambling operators implement betting limits on games and sports betting. These affect how much a player can wager on a game, limiting their bet to a maximum amount. In a lot of cases, these limits have been decreased to mean that players can bet irresponsibly.
  •       Deposit limits – Deposit limits are another type of limit commonly used by betting sites. These affect how much a player can deposit to their account, meaning that they won’t be able to bet more than they can afford.
  •       Gambling addiction resources – Finally, a growing number of companies are also making sure that players have the support they need if they develop a problem. Many regulators require sites to provide these in order to be licensed. 

Final thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lock down may yet have far-reaching social and economic implications on our society. While the vaccine rollout has been successful, there are concerns about the lasting effects of the quarantine and how people’s gambling habits may have changed when being isolated. Gambling companies and regulators can work together to help ensure that the frequency of risky gambling behavior is reduced.