Gambling addictions spike amid the pandemic crisis
For the first time in history, the entire globe shared a comparable struggle - the pandemic lockdown. The deaths from COVID are certainly the main subject of this painful period, but even those who weren’t touched by the virus got a neat old slap in many other ways. Some lost their jobs, others had to stay outside of hospital doors while their loved ones were dying inside, and many took relief in morally forbidden things like drugs and alcohol abuse. This is an undeniable fact, as alcohol sales went up by 60% in the past year, and drug-related crimes began taking over regions all around the earth.
Not everyone is tempted by the same thing, and individuals who would never touch illicit substances in their life were drawn to other activities that made the time in lockdown pass by. Online gambling became a severe issue that left a nasty aftermath for those who fell into deep, unyielding addiction of testing their luck.
Most casinos were shut down, so regular players had no choice but to start gambling online. But even those who have never gambled in their life saw web casinos as a potential opportunity for financial relief or a quick way to get some adrenaline pumping through their veins.
Of course, not everyone gets addicted to gambling, and many are responsible players who know their limits. But the lack of social interaction, job losses, and simple boredom can fuel the mind the bend one’s own rules. It’s much easier to make careless bets when it feels like there isn’t much to live for anyway or after suffering losses that call for alternative ways to come up with extra funds. The worst thing about this is that over 70% of individuals who undergo treatment for gambling problems end up entangled in them again.
Another issue is that online gambling can become highly captivating since it’s easy to access funds for online deposits and continue to spend money that’s “invisible.” Cash is tangible, and the sting of it leaving your palm is harsher than seeing digital numbers in the bank account decrease. Plus, online casinos usually offer all sorts of bonuses and promotions that make gambling that much more thrilling. Registering an account on a gambling site takes less effort than putting on your pants and traveling to a land-based facility. So it’s unsurprising that many people got lost in the sauce, making disproportionate bets and getting hooked on stimulating sensations gambling games offer.
Gambling addictions have been reported to occur in between 0.1 and 5.8% of the general population during the last year, mostly due to the pandemic lockdown. Sports betting companies generated $1.5B in 2020; that’s just in the United States alone. That is 69% higher than the year before. And throughout the pandemic, this record hit a whopping 270% increase. Now approximately 0.9% of American adults are reported to have a gambling problem. That alone should give you an idea of how prominent online casino activities became since COVID took over.
Perhaps forcing a lockdown wasn’t the brightest idea because the virus isn’t the only thing that destroyed people’s lives. Lack of interaction with people and long days spent in isolation is a disastrous mix, especially for those who don’t intentionally pour their energy into activities that will keep their mental health afloat.
If you happened to be one of the individuals who fell into a gambling addiction - don’t worry; there is a way out. There are resources that are willing to help for free and hotlines that will answer 24/7 if you need someone to help pull you out of the mess.
If you’re not comfortable sharing about your struggles, find alternative activities that will give you the same amount of satisfaction as gambling. Someone who is addicted to drugs, for example, won’t get much satisfaction in replacing drugs with crocheting, but extreme sports would definitely have the same “oomph” to it. So if you’re addicted to gambling because of the process, graphics, and satisfying winning combinations - try free online casino games. We have them here on Casinority too. However, if it’s about the money, you’re better off making a gamble buying stocks like gold or platinum. Either way, do not allow addiction to rule your life - it’s simply not worth it. As for the rest of the population with gambling problems, hopefully, the lifted restrictions will allow for more opportunities that will eliminate the need to sink deeper into debt and psychological struggles that come from excessive gambling.