During the early stage of lockdown, only 4% of the UK residents reported increased spending on gambling. The 4% of the gamblers were already reported as problematic gamblers.
GambleAware Responsible gambling Charity commissioned the survey and undertaken by YouGov.
As per the survey overall, there is a 10 point reduction in the number of people participating in any form of gambling. The number came down to 39% in May 2020 from 49% in October 2019. The male gamblers had a large decline from 54% to 41% while the female gamblers dropped from 36% to 31%. It is believed that as the pandemic held many sports activities, the male participation reduced.
Apart from online casinos, all other verticals reported a decline in gambling.
The online casino increased to 2.3% from 1.5% in the same time frame as gambling. Men’s participation increased to 3.2% from 2% while female participation increased from 1.1% to 1.5%.
In another survey by the UK gambling commission, increased online slots activity in May was reported than in March and April. However, other casino games had not so a huge surge. As per recent reports from UKGC, the active online slots players have declined.
The GambleAware Survey compared the data from last October to early lockdown. It shows that almost 52% of people gamble almost the same amount on gambling. However, 41% responded that they reduced their spending. Only 4% responded that they have increased spending on gambling.
The 4% included people from the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) high index. Almost one-fifth of people with a PGSI score of 8 or more have reported increased spending during the early lockdown as per the survey.
A higher percentage of gamblers from the 18-34 age group formed the higher spending gambling than the old group of 55 and more. However, the young group used safer gambling tools than the aged group.
Sian Griffiths, Deputy Chair of GambleAware said that it is alarming to see that the most vulnerable are getting impacted in the lockdown. It has been urged that everyone comes together to fight this.