COVID-19: Risks of Passing the Time with Online Gambling

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COVID-19: Risks of Passing the Time with Online Gambling

Post by Administrator » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:45 am

>> COVID-19: Risks of Passing the Time with Online Gambling

With COVID-19 forcing everyone to stay inside and isolated, a lot of people are turning more to digital devices as forms of entertainment and discovering that many online pastimes contain elements of gambling. For many people, gambling is a safe recreational pastime. However, for some, it can turn into a dangerous addiction. From the man who spent $16k on Final Fantasy [1], to Japan having to crack down on digital slot machines [2], it can’t be denied that young and old alike can fall into problem gambling behavior when it is presented in a digital form.

Even though online gambling is not legal in the state of Florida, many people are turning to digital means to place bets. In fact, the National Council on Compulsive Gambling has seen a 30%-40% increase in online gambling since the COVID-19 virus hit. [3] Wages are being placed on everything from the weather to the outcome of popular TV shows. [4] It is easy to see the dangers that problem gamblers could face when they are given the option to gambling from the comfort of their couch. Moreover, the ease of accessing extra money at the swipe of a finger makes it simple for individuals with problem gambling behaviors to chase their gambling losses by gambling more and more money.

Additionally, Verizon had found a 75% spike in online video gameplay as a result of increased isolation. [5] This spike will more than likely lead to increased video game related gambling, such as loot boxes, microtransactions, and e-sports betting. An alarming aspect of digital gambling through video games is that, oftentimes, there are no tangible rewards. Yet, this type of gambling can present the same addictive elements to problem gamblers as in-person gambling. This means that as problem gamblers seeking to chase their losses, may find themselves spending thousands of dollars for a single line of code that turns their avatar into a special character.

Problem gamblers often seek out gambling while distressed. With a rise in the variety and prevalence of these digital forms of gambling amidst these stressful times, it is more important now than ever to be mindful of your gambling habits and to seek out help if you are suffering from problem gambling. If you or a loved one may be struggling with a gambling problem, contact Florida’s 24/7, confidential, multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848). The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) is providing uninterrupted help and hope for problem gamblers and their loved ones throughout this pandemic. The HelpLine is also available via text at 321-978-0555, LiveChat on, by email at, or by messaging the FCCG’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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