Problem Gambling Awareness Month Hurt Because of COVID-19

Problem Gambling Awareness Month Hurt Because of COVID-19

Several sporting events, concerts and conferences have been canceled or postponed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Engagements and events related to the Problem Gambling Month were also affected because of the shutdown.

How are organizations combating the situation?

Senior director of substance abuse treatment services at Nicasa Behavioral Health Services in Illinois, Elizabeth Thielen, said that most of her speaking engagements and conferences related to the Problem Gambling Month were also canceled. Now Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is hosting daily phone-in sessions in place of the in-person meetings. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s executive director Keith Whyte, daily phone sessions have become commonplace.

Problem Gambling Awareness Month Hurt Because of COVID-19

However, people going through gambling issues are having a hard time right now. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), over 75% of the tribal casinos and 95% of the commercial casinos in the country have shut down. Most sporting events have been canceled in view of the pandemic as governments are discouraging large gatherings. However, sportsbooks around the country are left with no fixtures to bet upon. Both licensed domestic sportsbooks and unlicensed offshore firms are having a hard time keeping their customers.

British gambling giants like GVC are now encouraging their users to shift to online casino and poker games in order to make up for the loss of sports betting revenue.

People in treatment many have trouble

The people who are getting treated for problem gambling or other related issues may face several challenges while accessing support. This is true for in-person GA meetings or even in an outpatient clinic. Several people are either losing jobs or being asked to self-isolate because of which they will need an outlet to reduce their stress. Whyte added,

“When you’re playing to run away from something, it’s a bigger risk factor then when you’re playing for something.”

These are just some of the problems that people can face around the world and if the shutdowns continue for long, the consequences could be dire. People with problem gambling issues may face a lot of problems as gambling venues shut off immediately and there is no event to bet online as well. Thielen said that some people may become more irritable and restless. Some others could have anxiety issues and may become sweaty and shaky. She said that sports bettors could face these withdrawal symptoms because they usually get an adrenaline rush from betting on different sports.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.