Coronavirus Pandemic Is Hurting Problem Gamblers Even More

Coronavirus Pandemic Is Hurting Problem Gamblers Even More

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered many casinos around the globe and canceled sporting events. However, gamblers still have a chance to gamble, even if it is on riskier products.

What’s happening to problem gamblers?

If you are a casual gambler, you can probably wait for the casinos to reopen. However, problem gamblers are having a tough time coping with this unusual situation. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s executive director Keith Whyte, problems gamblers are at a higher risk now, more than ever. He said,

“People with gambling problems are at a higher risk now because they are isolated, have poor access to healthcare, poor access to resources.”

Coronavirus Pandemic Is Hurting Problem Gamblers Even More

Now that online gamblers are isolated and have lots of time at hand, they could participate in much riskier gambling products. Whyte noted that there could be a rise in highly speculative investing or day trading as gamblers look for the high that they are missing. Such activities will make them lose money. Sports betting is not a worthwhile option since most major sporting events have already been canceled. Some companies have started scouring the world for obscure events that never made it to the mainstream before- like Japanese sumo wrestling, Belarussian soccer, and virtual games.

Problem gambling is a cause of concern

At least two million Americans satisfy the standard definition of gambling addiction while another 4 to 6 million could have problem gambling issues. Whyte said is gambling is one of the last options through which the government can raise funds without raising taxes. If the shutdown continues for long, some states may want to outshine their neighbors and introduce new online gambling options.

Casino properties are already losing millions because of the shutdown. The CDC Gaming Reports suggests that the Borgata, owned by MGM Resorts International, could be losing as much as $14.4 million every day. Borgata is one of the top 20 properties of the casino giant and is bleeding because of the pandemic.

Another big issue for problem gamblers is that most of the programs designed to help them are funded via taxes on gambling. This means that if the gambling industry loses more, problem gambling help will also run out of funds. There will be no support left for people struggling to get rid of their gambling addiction which may result in a fallback and eventually higher rates of problem gambling overall.

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.