Online Gambling Increased by 67% Due Quarantine

April 16, 2020 Matt Speakman

Online gambling in Australia has increased by two-thirds since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it may not be a big cause of concern that anti-gambling activists are holding out to be.

A woman with surgery mask typing on a laptop

Online gambling during quarantine ©Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay

Stats released weekly by economic analysts AlphaBeta and credit bureau Illion indicate online gambling payments rose by 67% in the week ended March 29, relative to a usual week.  This was the highest increase of the 18 groups analyzed in the study of 250k Aussies.

Although main players, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, also enjoyed growth, the biggest winners next to gambling were alcohol & tobacco, online shopping & subscription services, grocery delivery, and home improvement.

The week that was analyzed was the first one after the Australian government unveiled its economic stimulus program and saw a 10-point boost in total discretionary spending.

Even though local media reported the usual suspects predicting that Australians would get mad about gambling online, it’s worth remembering that this spike occurred in the week that started with the closure of nearly all land-based gambling options, such as casinos, racetracks, betting offices and video poker machines in many different venues.

The Increase Might Be Only Short-Term

The internet boom tends to be nothing more than a redistribution of affections, even as food ordering has improved, whereas restaurants and cafes have noted a decrease.

Moreover, while some inexperienced online gambling players can still get swept away at first, multiple studies in widely different markets have shown that the launch of new gambling opportunities often leads to a short-term increase in gambling activity, during which customers adjust to the new environment and the prices revert to their baseline.

However, the duty of Australian authorized online sports betting operators to treat new customers with a certain degree of concern and not to flood them with promotional deals. Operators should also understand that this increase in operation is probably only for a short period of time.

Lockdowns Could Not End Until a Vaccine is Made

This increase in online sports betting and gambling, in general, is due to the current worldwide pandemic of the new coronavirus known as COVID 19. People from all around the world are encouraged by authorities and the World Health Organization to stay at home in an attempt to prevent further spread of the virus and Australia is not an exception either.

The first case of COVID 19 in the country was reported on January 25, 2020, in Victoria and at the moment there are over 6300 cases confirmed from which over 3300 have already recovered and 59 have died.

The United States, Spain, and Italy remain to be the top three countries that have reported most cases of COVID 19 even surpassing China where the new coronavirus first appeared in November last year. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID 19 pandemic as it has officially become an issue for most of the countries in all continents except Antarctica which still hasn’t reported a case of the new coronavirus. There are many predictions made by the researches in terms of when the pandemic will end, but some of them claim that the lockdowns could not end until a vaccine is made.

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