<img alt = "" aria-hidden = "true" class = "i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" role = "Presentation" src = "Data: image / svg + xml; character set = utf-8,"/>The rise of online gambling means people no longer have to visit a betting shop or casino, and poses additional challenges for those at risk of addiction (Image: Ian Georgeson).
The hospitality sector in particular has had great success as bars, restaurants, hotels and cafes have been forced to close their stores until the regulations are loose enough to allow them to reopen. However, some have already signaled that their losses were so great that they decided to close for good.
Although the pandemic has heralded the closure of gaming venues such as casinos, bingo halls and many betting shops, the online gambling industry has taken advantage of the advantage and has seen a huge surge in subscribers due to people only living at home and easy access to them have gambling sites.
The online betting industry was not slow to respond to the bans with a noticeable increase in advertising on websites and social media to target prospects. For those with a gambling addiction, this is an undesirable consequence of being locked out.
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A Gambling Commission poll published yesterday found that 0.3 percent of all people who gamble have a "problem," which means that it happens "to an extent that endangers, disrupts or harms family, personal or recreational activities" while a further 0.9 percent were classified as “moderately at risk” and two percent as “low risk”.
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Given that 42 percent of adults surveyed said they had participated in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, these numbers represent a large number of people.
There is also research showing that problem gambling is even more common among those who participate in online sports betting and online games such as roulette and blackjack.
This is partly due to the fact that players get instant results without having to wait for a race or sporting event to end, and can place bets in quick succession, trying to make up for losses instantly with credit cards rather than handing over cash with 24 / . 7 Access via phones, laptops or computers.
Gambling addiction has been shown to have a tremendous impact on the well-being and mental health of loved ones who may feel ashamed, angry, fearful, and betrayed, when money problems engulf the family and bills go unpaid or household items are sold to fuel the habit.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that problem gamblers were more likely to have low self-esteem, develop stress-related disorders, become anxious, have poor sleep patterns and loss of appetite, develop substance abuse problems, and suffer from depression, which in turn disrupts family life.
Recent research has also shown that there is a link between gambling problems and thoughts of suicide, with more than twice as many people affected by gambling problems that they considered killing themselves compared to those who do not have a gambling problem .
Young people are not spared either, as the Gambling Commission announced in November 2018 that 1.7 percent of children have a gambling problem and 14 percent (450,000) of children between the ages of 11 and 16 bet more often than they did drugs, whether they were smoked or drunk Alcohol.
Support is available, however, and problem gamblers can access help from many different sources including the NHS, GamCare, which operates the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, Gamblers Anonymous UK, which operates local support groups, and self-help tips can be found at the website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.