High-Risk Gamblers in Sweden Bet More Due to COVID-19

A new research among Swedish gamblers shares an insight on the behavior of people towards gambling during the COVID-19 period.

New Study in Sweden Analyses Gamblers Behavior During COVID-19 Period

A recent study by Anders C. Håkansson, a psychiatry professor at Lund University, has shown new insights into the Swedish gamblers’ habits. According to the study, despite the fact that the number of gamblers has decreased amid the COVID-19 period, the high-risk gamblers had gambled more.

The research was conducted among 2,016 Swedish people in the period April 28 – May 4. From the total number of surveyed people, some 1,246 admitted to have had a gambled in the last year. The surveyed people were asked questions about their gambling behavior before the COVID-19 period and during the period.

Of the people who responded that they gambled, 11.6% replied that they gambled less since the COVID-19 period began. On the other hand, 5.9% admitted that they gambled more since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) hit Sweden. The study found out that, in general, players were likely to gamble less than before.

Looking at gambling per age, 17.7% of the interviewed aged 18 to 24 admitted that they were likely to gamble more. In the group aged 25 to 29 years old, only 13.0% reported that they were likely to gamble more. Focusing on the older group of 30 to 39 year olds, 7.5% said they were likely to gamble more while this percentage drops to 4.6% of those aged 40 to 49. In the senior group aged 50 to 59 years old and 60 or above results showed 2.5% and 4.1% respectively.

The study also featured a Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). The interviewed people were asked questions for the last year with four types of possible responses. Responses included “almost always“, “most of the time“, “sometimes” and “never.” Depending on the answer of each responder, a score was formed regarding their risk level of gambling. Scores were set from zero – no risk, to three – high risk.

Looking at the results, Sweden showed positive numbers. The interviewees who were classified as “no risk” were 79% of the gamblers. Of that group only 1.8% responded to have gambled more during the COVID-19 period. The responders falling in the category “low risk”, were 10% of the gamblers of which 12.4% admitted to have gambled more. The PGSI categorized responders as “moderate risk” were only 5% of the interviewed, of which 21.1% responded that they gambled more.

Some 27.4% of the responders in category “moderate risk” admitted to have gambled more during the COVID-19 period. According to the research, the players which increased their gaming activities during the lockdown period were mainly concentrated in the groups of higher risks. On the other hand, responders from low risk groups did not find it difficult to limit their gambling activities during the lockdown.

With that being said, Sweden is planning to implement enhanced gambling restrictions early in July. The planned measures look at limiting weekly player deposits to $500 but also bonuses no bigger than $10. Furthermore, the country plans to implement time limits for online casino activities. Although the government is looking to protect the online users, the proposed limitations were already rejected by the industry giants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *