Victorian government to study gambling behaviour during Covid-19

Victoria is home to around 30,000 slot machines.
Victoria is home to around 30,000 slot machines.

The Victorian government will invest AU$600,000 (US$460,000) to examine how the Covid-19 pandemic has on impacted on gambling behaviours.

Australia.- The government of Vicotoria is going to invest AU$600,000 (US$460,000) through the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to examine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling.

The investment will cover research on the following themes:

  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling harms and support needs of families and friends of gamblers.
  • Economic insecurity and gambling behaviours in Victoria during the pandemic.
  • What Victorian gamblers did during the closure of land-based venues and whether substituted leisure activities reduce gambling urges and the risk of gambling harm.
  • The trajectories of people in the Sunraysia Aboriginal community.
  • The Influence of Covid-19 related stressors on gambling behaviour.
  • A prospective cohort study to assess Covid-19’s effect on relationships between gambling availability, gambling behaviour, harm and social, psychological and financial wellbeing.

Shane Lucas, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO, said: “The most recent publicly available data shows online race and sports betting increased by 30 per cent compared to the same period the year before.

“It’s critical we understand and learn from these changes in gambling behaviour.”

There are currently around 30,000 slot machines in Victoria, of which 2,628 are allocated to Crown Melbourne. Operations were shut down during Victoria’s four-month lockdown last year.

A few weeks ago, Australia’s four biggest banks backed plans to ban credit card spending on online gambling to help tackle problem gambling.

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