How has the pandemic affected gambling – are we playing more or less?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on gambling. Many people were either gambling more or less than they would usually. In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of how the pandemic has affected gambling behaviour.

Some people may have turned to gamble as a way to escape the stress and boredom of quarantine. This could lead to an increase in gambling activity and, accordingly, an increase in gambling-related losses.

Similarly, the pandemic may also have led to a decrease in gambling activity. People have been too busy or too scared to go to casinos or online gambling sites. This could lead to a decrease in gambling-related losses.

So, which is it? Are people gambling more or less than usual, and why? Let’s take a closer look.

Why are we gambling more in lockdown?

There is no doubt that the pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Whilst the jury is still out on how the pandemic will ultimately affect us. One thing that seems clear is that it has had an impact on gambling habits.

On the one hand, it might seem that people are gambling more during the pandemic. This is because many people become confined to their homes. Therefore, they may be looking for ways to entertain themselves. In addition, since gambling is readily available online, it may be tempting for some people to gamble more than they would ordinarily.

Gambling has always been a popular pastime, but it seems that the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to increase online gambling activities. A new study by the University of Bristol has shown that regular male gamblers are particularly prone to gambling more often online during the public lockdown in the UK. This is compared to their previously reported gambling habits.

While this may seem like good news for the gambling industry. Unfortunately, there are several potential risks linked with increased online gambling. For one, it can be more difficult to regulate and track online gambling activities than gambling in person. This means that it is easier for people to lose track of how much money they are spending. In addition, there is a greater risk of addiction.

Similarly, online gambling can be an extremely dangerous activity during a pandemic. The University of Bristol study found that regular gamblers were more than 6 times likelier to gamble online compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

More people on Gamstop

During the pandemic, UKGC has reported more people that have signed up for Gamstop. Gamstop is a service that is blocking players from UK gambling sites, making it impossible to sign up to a casino with a UK license. You can read more on our introduction to Gamstop.

There are a lot of international gambling sites which are not connected to Gamstop, so if you want to be totally safe, you need to self-exclude manually or use an alternative to Gamstop.

On Casinomir, we list all gambling sites not connected to Gamstop to make it easy to self-exclude from all sites at once. We also list alternatives to Gamstop, which is also blocking users from non-UK casinos.

Why did we gamble less in lockdowns?

On the other hand, it is also possible that people are gambling less during the pandemic? People have always gambled, and they will likely continue to do so in the future. However, we may be seeing a decrease in gambling during the pandemic for several reasons. For example, people may worry about getting sick, so they are avoiding places where there is a lot of contacts. This could explain why we have seen a drop in gambling revenue across the globe.

Another potential reason is that people are staying at home more during the pandemic, so they are not going to casinos or other gambling venues as often. Furthermore, some people may be using their free time to do other things, like studying or cooking, instead of gambling.

Another major factor influencing less gambling many people lost their jobs. Without a job and the security of a monthly income gambling became a luxury some couldn’t afford.


There are pros and cons to both of these explanations. We had no travelling to and from work and more time on our hands for many of us. Therefore, gambling relieved some monotony of lockdown.

On the one hand, if people became scared of getting sick, then it is understandable that they would want to avoid gambling establishments. Overall, there are a number of potential explanations for why we are seeing a drop in gambling revenue during this time of worldwide crisis. Financially so many of us simply can not afford to gamble for entertainment. Various reasons include the loss of jobs and increasing bills. It will also be interesting to see if this trend continues as the pandemic progresses.