Gambling and gaming in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 lockdown
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AbstractDuring the first UK national COVID-19 lockdown, there were fears that increased online gaming and gambling could negatively impact wellbeing. Using a cross-sectional retrospective change survey of 631 UK adult gamers and/or gamblers during the week the UK lockdown was partially lifted (June 2020), we investigated participation in gaming/gambling and relationships with problem gaming, problem gambling and wellbeing (using the following previously validated scales: the Internet Gaming Disorder Short Form; a short-form version of the Problem Gambling Severity Index; a short-form of the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale). Results indicated a near-doubling in gaming activity during lockdown and significant increases in problem gaming scores, but not in numbers of disordered gamers. Aggregate changes to gambling participation and problem gambling were negligible: decreases in offline and sports gambling were balanced by increases in online gambling. Wellbeing scores decreased during lockdown across the sample, particularly amongst women, and path analysis revealed moderate correlations between increases in problem gaming and gambling scores and reductions in wellbeing. We conclude that for some, maladaptive gaming/gambling coping strategies during the lockdown may have exacerbated its negative effects.
CitationClose, J., Spicer, S.G., Nicklin, L.L., Lloyd, J. et al. (2022) Gambling and Gaming in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 Lockdown, COVID 2 (2), pp.87-101. https://doi.org/10.3390/covid2020007
Description© 2022 The Authors. Published by MDPI. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.3390/covid2020007
SponsorsThis work was funded by the University of Plymouth School of Psychology. J.C., S.S., H.L., L.L.N. and J.L. were further supported by funding from GambleAware.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/