Gambling Safely in Corona-times: Some Things To Keep in Mind

There are several impacts of Coronavirus on online gambling. Research shows that gamblers are rapidly switching to playing online casino games.  Due to COVID-19, many triggers for gambling arise or get worse. Loneliness, boredom, stress, just to mention a few. Gambling has become an outlet to reduce restlessness and tediousness and to cope with loneliness. Sounds familiar to you? Your gambling habits seem getting out of hand? No need for professional help yet, but going on like this isn’t an option either. So who are you?

Know Who You Are

Roughly, we distinguish three categories of players
  • Young men and women who have different levels of income. For them, casinos are fun. They gamble because it’s a source of entertainment
  • Middle-aged men and women with high income. They visit casinos out of curiosity. It’s a place where they can try their luck and skills
  • Middle-aged men and women with low income. They visit casinos to primarily to gain money, thus improving their financial situation
Notice that each type of player has different motivations for gambling. Depending on these motivations, players are at varying degrees of risk.

What type of gambler are you?

Your proneness to gambling addiction depends on the type of gambler you are. The first two types mentioned above aren’t really at risk. They’re in control of their gambling habits and do not show compulsive signs. However, it’s a different story for the third category.  Their motivation for gambling lies in winning. They consider gambling as a potential source of income. And that’s where it gets tricky. Why? In the long run, casinos will always have the upper hand. That’s because of the so-called house edge. It doesn’t matter which game you play or where you play it. Whether you play online or offline. Casinos pay out less money than they take in, as the rules are set up to statistically favour the casinos.  By now, you might wonder what type of gambler you are. You’ve learned about the several types of players and their motivations to gamble.  Maybe you think ”Uh- huh, good story, but it’s not about me”. Or maybe you doubt, as you recognize some elements that do apply on your situation. So, how to get further insight on my gambling habits? Where do I stand?

Warning signs

When talking about the impacts of Coronavirus on online gambling, it’s also about responsible gambling. Responsible gambling encompass a number of social responsibility initiatives by the gambling industry. These include governments, gaming control boards, operators (such as casinos) and vendors. Together they ensure the integrity and fairness of the gambling operations, while they also promote the awareness of harms associated with gambling, such as gambling addiction. Gambling addiction, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on someone’s life. Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. It’s a serious disorder. Question to answer here is whether your gambling is negatively impacting one or more areas of your life. Be honest to yourself; do you see any changes when looking at your relationships, career or sleep? Take a look at the list below and be honest with yourself: which warning signs do you recognise? Symptoms of gambling disorder include:
  • Denying there’s a problem, although it’s obvious to others
  • Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)
  • Pursuing gambling activities over other activities
  • Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success
  • Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
  • Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of guilt, anxiety or depression
  • Jeopardizing or losing important relationships,  job or school because of gambling
Unlike gamblers who are in control of their gambling habits, people with a gambling problem will not stop gambling when losing. They are compelled to keep playing to recover their money. Answering the questions above should give you a good insight on your current well-being in relation to your gambling attitude.


You people know who you are, don’t you? Or not? You’ve learned about gambling disorder, and you’ve been honest to yourself. If you do not recognise any symptoms of gambling disorder: great, keep on enjoying gambling the way you do right now. If, however, you do recognise symptoms of gambling disorder, there’s work to do. But not before I compliment you on your honesty. You are heading for the right direction now. And remember: you’re not alone. According to the latest report into gambling in Ireland, published by the Department of Social Protection, there are estimated to be between 28,000 and 40,000 people who suffer from a gambling disorder. Look for professional help and support – they are there, waiting for you to help in case you need.