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38% of frequent gamblers in the UK gambling more than pre-pandemic

Brits are now gambling more than they did before Covid, new research from UK price comparison site NerdWallet has shown.

For this year’s Safer Gambling Awareness Week (1-7 November), NerdWallet conducted research which revealed that nearly two-fifths of frequent gamblers, defined as those who gamble at least once a month, have seen their gambling increase during the pandemic.

This figure only rose for those who gamble even more regularly, with 63% of Brits who gamble every day reporting a rise in their time spent gambling, and according to the website’s research, there are signs that this change is here to stay.

Restrictions have been eased but 62% of respondents said their gambling had remained the same, while 12% saw their gambling increase despite the lifting of many public health measures.

Commenting on the reasons behind this rise, Connor Campbell, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, said: “With a lack of distraction over the tough months of lockdown, it appears that people have found it much harder to manage their gambling, and the habits developed during the last 18 or so months have been difficult to unwind even as the UK opens up.”

However, many wished to reduce the amount of time they spend gambling, with 43% of those who gamble at least once a month expressing this desire, while 57% of the everyday gamblers also wanted to curb the habit — but at the same time, 42% stated they had no idea how to go about it.

“It speaks to the ongoing importance of Safer Gambling Awareness Week that so many wish to reduce their gambling, but either don’t know how to use the tools out there to help them, or are completely unaware of them,” continued Campbell.

“This is especially true at a time when households will be feeling financial pressures from all directions, be it climbing energy costs, rising food prices, or the impending increase in national insurance.”

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