Swedish high risk gamblers place more bets because of COVID-19

New study in Sweden analyses gambling behaviour during COVID-19
A recent study by Anders K. Håkansson, a professor of psychiatry at Lund University, has revealed new insights into the habits of Swedish gamblers. According to the study, although the number of players decreased during COVID-19, high-risk players played more.

The study was conducted among 2016 Swedes between 28 April and 4 May. Of the total number interviewed, some 1,246 admitted to having gambled in the past year. Interviewees were asked questions about their gambling behaviour before and during the COVID-19 period.

Of those who responded that they had gambled, 11.6% responded that they had gambled less since the beginning of the COVID-19 period. On the other hand, 5.9% admitted playing more since the new coronavirus (COVID-19) struck Sweden. The study showed that, overall, gamblers have gambled less than before.

Looking at gambling by age group, 17.7% of respondents aged 18 to 24 admitted that they were likely to gamble more. In the 25 to 29 age group, only 13.0% reported that they were likely to gamble more. Focusing on the older group aged 30 to 39, 7.5% said they were likely to gamble more, while this percentage dropped to 4.6% among those aged 40 to 49. In the older group aged 50 to 59 and over 60 the results showed 2.5% and 4.1% respectively.

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The Seriousness Index of Gambling Problems, according to the study
The study also used the Gambling Problem Seriousness Index (PGSI). Those surveyed were asked questions over the past year with four choices of answers. Answers included 'almost always', 'most of the time', 'sometimes' and 'never'. Depending on each respondent's answer, an estimate of the level of risk associated with gambling was generated. The scores were set from zero, no risk, to three, high risk.

Looking at the results, Sweden showed positive numbers. Those surveyed who were categorised as "no risk" accounted for 79% of the players. Of this group, only 1.8% responded that they had gambled more during COVID-19. The "low risk" category was answered by 10% of players, of which 12.4% admitted to gambling more. PGSI placed respondents in the "moderate risk" category with only 5% of respondents, of whom 21.1% said they gambled more.

Some 27.4% of respondents in the "moderate risk" category admitted to gambling more during COVID-19. According to research by https://bastaspelbolagutanlicens.com/, players who increased their gambling activity during the lock-in period were mostly concentrated in higher risk groups. On the other hand, respondents from low-risk groups did not find it difficult to limit their gambling activities during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Sweden plans to impose enhanced gambling restrictions at the beginning of July. The planned measures include limiting weekly player deposits to $500, as well as bonuses of no more than $10. The country also plans to impose temporary restrictions on online casinos. While the government seeks to protect online users, the proposed restrictions have already been rejected by industry giants.