The UK’s pre-Christmas lockdown is in full swing but despite the protection it offers the public from the pandemic, there are other effects that come into play during a full lockdown.
Since the first lockdown was implemented near the beginning of 2020, internet searches for the phrase ‘online casino’ hit an all time high. According to the BBC, gambling moved online amid the closure of physical gambling venues and cancellation of sports events.
Problem gamblers went on to tell the BBC that lockdown measures were a recipe for disaster. Although, the UK Gambling Commission stated that there had been a rise on online gambling, there was no evidence of a rise in problem gambling.
Although land-based facilities in Manchester have been forced to temporarily close, professional sport continues. Sport often provides a welcome distraction to some who may use their spare time to gamble online.
Manchester was not included in the list of UK cities where internet searches about casino were most popular, but nine out of the top ten cities were from Northern regions. Both Leeds and Bradford featured in the top 10.
Gambling is Moving Online
For the past decade, a greater number of gamblers have relocated from the local casinos and bookies in order to play online. According to Finder.com in 2020, 84% of UK adults own a smartphone whilst 72% of mobile connections are 4G. With 99% of gambling websites completely mobile friendly, there has never been an easier period to place a bet or play at a casino online.
Megaways Casino tells us that in the year 2020, there has been an influx of gamblers visiting their casino site via mobile phone devices. With the advent of high-speed internet and state of the art mobile phones, an ever-growing number of casino players are playing via their hand-held devices.
Manchester is by no means the UK city with the fastest average internet speed, unfortunately.
How is the Gambling Industry Regulated?
In April this year, using credit cards for gambling was banned in Great Britain by the gambling watchdog, the UK Gambling Commission. A few months after the first lockdown began, HSBC UK reported that its customers had spent £1.6m on gambling transactions.
The gambling industry in the UK was regulated in 2005 under the Gambling Act 2005. Although the UK treasury continues to make a lot of money by taxing gambling companies, there has been lots of debates stating that the Gambling Act as it stands is outdated and needs to be freshened up to suit modern times.
The coronavirus lockdowns have also unearthed a different sort of gambling, loot box gambling. Teenagers and adults have reported spending thousands on video game loot boxes with the problems exacerbated by people having more time o their hands during lockdown. FIFA 21 loot boxes have been banned in some European countries.
Gambling Advice in Manchester
Anyone with any gambling related issues in Manchester can get in touch with gambling related counsellors or visit GamCare.