Study reveals a 67 per cent increase in online gambling since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Australia.- In the midst of the Coronavirus, Australia has seen a sharp increase in online gambling according to an investigation.
A joint study by Australian credit bureau illion and analytics firm AlphaBeta revealed a 67 per cent increase in online gambling following the recent shutdown of all non-essential services due to the impact of Covid-19.
Based on a sample of transactions of 250,000 Australian consumers, the figures show the online gambling industry as big winners of the nationwide and worldwide shutdown. Services like food delivery are up 63 per cent, and online retail and subscription services, up 61 per cent.
Sports betting and wagering is allowed in Australia but online casino gaming and poker are not, as these are strictly prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act.
The figures do not break down the rise in online gambling by type, and they also do not outline whether the data refers only to legal gambling activities.
No restrictions have been place on online gambling in Australia since the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Monash University professor Charles Livingstone said: “They’re [poker machines] tapping straight into the pleasure genre of your brain.
“People who are under stress find that very liberating. It’s actually quite alarming if it is indeed 67 per cent.”
Alliance for Gambling Reform executive director Tony Mohr said: “Now we’re seeing you can bet on the colour of Scomo’s [Scott Morrison] tie, the weather and the sharemarket itself.”
“This is like having a leech on society as we’re trying to fight a war. It’s the worst possible time to be hindering people who are trying to get by.”