New data has shown a drastic change in Australians’ spending habits over the last week, due to the coronavirus crisis
The data, compiled by an analytics consultancy company, AlphaBeta, and a credit firm, Illion, has raised concerns about the economic and social climate in the country due to the Covid-19.
The figures have shown a whopping 67% increase in online gambling, along with alcohol and tobacco sales, with spending sales going up 33% since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
However, this doesn’t break down the rise in online gambling by type, nor does it outline whether the data refers only to legal gambling activities. Sports betting and wagering is permitted in Australia but online casino gaming and poker are strictly prohibited under the Interactive Gambling Act.
The spike in online gambling has been linked to the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which has suspended all non-essential businesses, and this right after the devastating bushfires which had raged for months.
While supermarkets and pharmacies remain substantial from the situation, the biggest gainers next to online gambling and alcohol & tobacco were online retail & subscription service, food delivery and home improvement. Furthermore, the gyms and fitness clubs have unsurprisingly taken a heavy toll as well, due to COVID-19 restrictions forcing their business to be shut down.
An Expert claims the clear link between social isolation and people increasing their gambling and drinking habits.
Charles Livingstone, an associate professor from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, confirmed the link that exists between gambling and the pleasure center of the brain, making the activity rewarding. “Seeing a 67% increase is in fact worrying”, Livingstone added. People have been equally looking into some free options that are still based on gambling mechanics, the data revealed. Hence addictive behaviors and gambling-related harm amongst society are inevitable.
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