The Rise of Online Gambling During the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2024

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Coronavirus struck China a few months back and extended to other countries, which eventually became a world pandemic. As a result, most countries are now on total or partial lockdown, which means people don’t have to go to work or parties or anywhere at all. This has resulted in extra time for most people, which they have been channeling into other things, one of which is online gambling.

Online gambling does not require anything other than a smartphone or a PC and an Internet connection, which most people already have access to. With extra time at home and fewer things to do, a lot of people have resorted to gambling.

Why Do People Gamble?

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There have been several studies over the years on why people gamble, one of which is on This includes the recent 2019 study from the University of Alberta that was first conducted on homing pigeons and later on human participants. The study was called the Near-miss Effect in Slot Machines, and researchers created an experience similar to slot machines in order to run their experiment.

The study shows how near-misses could impact gamblers and pull them more into the game, such that they are compelled to continue until they have won. They also established the fact that it affects people who are already engrossed in gambling more than it does those who do not gamble often.

Another study in New Zealand on four ethnic groups focused on how environmental, cultural, and social factors may influence gambling behaviors. They took into account the existing knowledge on gambling of the study group and how it interacts with their personal attributes. The results showed five different reasons why people gamble, which includes:

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  • Economic reasons
  • Personal reasons
  • Recruitment (or retention) reasons
  • Environmental reasons
  • Social reasons

All these reasons from this study can be tied to why gambling is on the rise today amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Economic Reasons

We have observed how the economy keeps declining due to the pandemic, and no one is sure how quickly the economy can bounce back from this. Most people gamble to win money, and with this crisis, more people are willing to do whatever they can to gain more. A lot of people have already lost their job, or their jobs are kept on hold, and they still have to survive through it all and cater to their families. The last resort for some of these people is to gamble with the hope of winning quick money.

Of course, it’s not that easy to win a lot of money, especially for beginners who are yet to be familiar with the game. But it still creates a sense of hope for many, rather than sitting at home with no clear view of when the pandemic would be over.

Personal Reasons

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The New Zealand study showed that people gambled for excitement, relaxation, or to escape from the depressing realities of their lives. In the case of Coronavirus, most people seem to be bored and depressed, as they are not able to do those things that kept them going for years. Some have lost their loved ones during this period, and some have had no choice but to go back to the sad realities they have been trying to escape from.

For these people, gambling is an escape mechanism. It helps them to shift their focus from what’s happening around them and what the news is saying to what would excite them and possibly bring in some money.

Recruitment (or Retention) Reasons

Most people would likely not gamble if they didn’t know it could be easily accessible or if it was never flashed at their face enough times to make them take action. Between 50% and 80% of participants of the study got to know about gambling options via advertising. It is literally everywhere, especially with online adverts on the rise.

With people actively searching for what to engage their time with, gamblings sites do not hesitate to spend on adverts just to encourage more people to sign up on their platforms. Also, a lot of people spend most of their time online due to the lockdown, so there is a high chance of them stumbling on one of those compelling adverts that would make them sign up to gamble or continue with more intensity if they were already in the game before the pandemic.

Environmental Reasons

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Some people were brought up in environments that encourage gambling. They had people around them who were involved in such activities, and some homes or family restaurants allowed it, so visitors could be engaged. This has influenced lots of gamblers over the years and is now on the rise during this coronavirus pandemic.

While a lot of people must have ignored the game for years due to obvious reasons such as being busy with work and other activities, this looks like a good time for them to reconsider. They have seen it happen in their environments for the longest time and do not need an advert before they check it up online and decide to engage in it.

On the other hand, there are people who have always played this game in their environments with other people and have probably gotten addicted to it. Now that everyone is expected to practice social distancing, physical locations can no longer be possible. This means these gamblers would have to resort to online gambling websites.

Social Reasons

Gambling has always helped people to socialize with others and with the pandemic today, and most people would rather spend more time on gambling sites. This helps them to interact with others while they gamble, which they find interesting. Most people do not mind spending the bulk of their time gambling, and from the study, a participant refers to it as being in an “isolated relationship with the pokie machines.” In this period of isolation, there are people who would rather isolate with the pokie machines for as long as they can.