UK: COVID-19 Lockdown Pushed Massive Number of Problem Gamblers to Seek Help

More problem gamblers sought help during the lockdown period in the UK, says records by the Gordon Moody Association.

Numbers by the Gordon Moody Association Show an Uptick in Problem Gamblers Seeking Help

The Gordon Moody Association, who is a leading addiction charity, announced that it observed a huge number of problem gamblers seeking help. In an interview for The Guardian, the association shared numbers which mark: “the first signs of a storm.

According to the association, the number of problem gamblers who reach out changed from 30 a month to 1,000. The association was referring to the months of lockdown between April and June 2020. Furthermore, the charity said that calls by people with suicidal thoughts were up to 5 calls per day during the lockdown. In addition, the association pointed out that more than before young people and women are reaching out for advice or treatment.

We did feel that we were likely to experience a major storm because of the coronavirus crisis, and now we think that the reality is that these figures may yet be the first signs of the storm.

Said Matthew Hickey, charity chief executive

He continued by saying that in the second quarter of 2020, an increase in numbers is observed. With that in mind, the postponing of sports events worldwide led to decrease in the overall gambling activity during the lockdown. On the other hand, online gambling activities were on the rise, considering that many people were working from home in the recent months.

UKGC Already Urged for Changes Towards Safer Online Gambling

Earlier this month, the UK Gambling Commission released its latest report regarding the gambling activity of customers during the lockdown. The gambling activity when comparing April to May data was raised only slightly. However, there was an increase of 15.5% in gross gaming yield (GGY). Later in July the UKGC urged for changes in online slot games. According to the commission, the multiple screen functionality, quick spin and false wins known as “losses disguised as winsare only a few of the measures which need to be taken in order to make the online slot games safer.

In contrast of the current data, the gaming giant Evolution Gaming released its report for 1H 2020. According to the report, the company nearly doubled its profits on a year-on-year comparison. The giant marked revenue increase of 47.5% year-on-year to €243.5 million (£221.0 million) for 1H 2020. With that in mind, for the period until June 30 2020, the UK market raised €20,5 million in revenue for the company, whereas the remaining of Europe raised some €122,2 million.

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