Australian are flocking to online gambling sites amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Some say it was almost inevitable this happened. Sporting events and live entertainment are postponed all over the place. Even casinos have bolted their doors closed as the country attempts to stave off the spread of this deadly virus.
AlphaBet and Illion publish data every week. These economic analysts compare the spending habits from a group of 250,000 Australians. The latest figures are alarming compared to what is considered a “normal” week.
Analysis of 18 core categories paints a picture of Australians’ spending habits. Spending on several areas plummeted. Gyms and fitness fell 95%, which is unsurprising considering the government forced them to close.
Travel and public transport spending reduced by 78%, again because of the current lockdown status.
Supermarkets and grocery shops have both benefited from extra customer spend. Spending at both increased by 15% for the week ending March 29. Sales of alcohol and tobacco are up 33%.
The biggest risers are online retail and subscription services, food delivery, and home improvement. Spending here rose between 61% and 64%. Online gambling, however, has seen a 67% increase, which and an expert says was inevitable.
Online Gambling Sites Benefit From Lockdown
Associate Professor Charles Livingston is an expert from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine. He said the temporary closures of clubs and pubs is to blame for the rise in online gambling. Livingston pointed his finger at pokies.
Pokies players gamble $15 billion per year collectively. A portion of those gamblers were always going to migrate online.
“Pokies are tapping straight into the pleasure genre of your brain. People who are under stress find that very liberating. It’s quite alarming if it is indeed a 67% increase [in online gambling].”
TAB Sees Wider Range of Online Gambling Activity
A TAB spokesperson revealed the gambling giant had seen more activity on its online gambling products.
“With most major sporting leagues around the world cancelled or postponed interest has shifted to those that remain in operation, such as basketball from Russia or soccer from Belarus, or other non-sporting markets such as interest rate movements.”
The increase in betting on obscure markets is directly linked to an increased consumption of alcohol. Dr Stephen Bright said there is a clear link between people drinking more and being kept in isolation. Dr Bright said people increase their drinking habits when stressed or anxious. There is an overlap in that drinking can lead to increased gambling.
A Time For Responsibility
These are unprecedented times and measures are in place that weren’t even when the world was at war. Government officials are pleading with Australians to act responsibly and adhere to social distancing rules. Everyone has a part to play in stopping this virus.
Online gambling operators also have a duty of care to their customers. They essentially have a captive audience that is ready and willing to gamble online. Here’s hoping they don’t continually bombard newcomers with bonus offers and the like.
Operators have every right to try and gain more customers during these strange times. They need to do this in a responsible manner.
Choosing an online gambling site to play pokies or casino games is a proverbial minefield. There are hundreds of different sites to choose from. All those site look, on the outside at least, to be trustworthy. Not all of them are.
Thankfully, for you reading these pages, pokies.com is a team of industry experts who love online gambling. This means we rigorously test all the online casinos listed on our pages. We create accounts, make deposits, play the games, and quiz customer support. You can rest assured your playing at a trustworthy site if you create your account via our links.
Here’s hoping the Australian government change their stance on regulated online casinos soon rather than later.