Many of us are suffering from boredom during coronavirus isolation. However, an NHS clinic has warned that with so much time on our hands, more people could turn to gambling to deal with the monotony. As a result, there are fears this could increase rates of gambling addiction.
A spokesperson for the clinic stated: “There are a range of risk factors in place at the moment: social isolation, boredom, stress, financial and job insecurity and the opportunity to gamble online.”
He added: “We are concerned that the next wave of gambling addiction will happen under these circumstances and that customers are not being adequately protected.”
With multiple sporting events cancelled due to the virus, it has been reported that some gambling companies are encouraging betting in alternative events, such as gaming tournaments and online casino games.
Concerned about the effect this could have, a group of MPs recently recommended that temporary betting caps of £50 a day be implemented. In a letter to the Betting & Gambling Council, the politicians stated:
“We are deeply concerned that as we go deeper into this crisis, more and more people will turn to online gambling as a distraction,”
“If the industry were to self-impose a daily limit of £50 … it would be a clear demonstration that the industry is willing to act responsibly and do what they can to protect society and peoples’ finances, at this dreadful time.”
If you’re concerned about how much you – or a partner – is spending on gambling during the lockdown, there are steps you can take. One possible option may be Gamstop; a service which puts a block on gambling websites and apps.
Alternatively, there are free helplines available such as Gamcare. These are still operational as usual throughout the pandemic.
Gambling debts can cause a variety of problems – financially and to our relationships as well. However, our experts are friendly and will deal with your situation confidentially. They won’t judge and will recommend the best solution for you – regardless of what sort of debt you might have.
It could be that a consolidation loan would be the best way to help restore control over your finances. To find out, complete the application form below and – at no cost to you – our specialists could help you find the ideal solution.
We’re also open during this challenging time and ready to provide support where needed.