Lifestyle All bets are off in lockdown

All bets are off in lockdown

The chips are down for many industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, including gambling.

A study from  The University of Sydney has found that 75 per cent of participants gambled less frequently during Australia’s first shutdown when venues were closed, and sport was cancelled.

That’s despite the popularity of online gambling and other studies which have shown an increase in pandemic betting.

The University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Sally Gainsbury says the study also revealed that the minority who gambled more during lockdown were more likely to have psychological and financial problems.

“The lockdown appears to have mostly a positive impact, however those who increased their gambling are arguably at the greatest risk of experiencing significant harms,” Associate Professor Gainsbury said.

She said psychological distress and COVID-related financial difficulties appear to be linked to the amount of money gambled rather than the frequency of gambling.

The study found that on average, participants spent around $250  a month less on gambling during the shutdown.

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