Gambling and Covid: AIM updates its memorandum
In order to fight the Covid19 pandemic and prevent its spread, governments are currently forced to take strict confinement measures. While those measures included the cancellation of all sports events (and therefore any bet related to them), imposed lockdowns have forced industry to look for online equivalents. On the one hand, people who do not usually gamble might turn to it to fight boredom. On the other, gambling addicts find themselves at greater risk. As the Spanish newspaper El País puts it, “boredom, loneliness and too much free time are the perfect ingredients to fall (again) into the temptation of online gaming”. In France, for example, according to the Online Gaming Regulatory Authority (Arjel), there are now 500,000 active players every week on government-approved sites, compared to 300,000 before the lockdown. Online gaming expenses are also said to have tripled in a few weeks, from 5 million a week to 15 million since the implementation of the confinement measures. Those figures and the risk they represent for public health should not be neglected. It is up to national governments to ensure proper legislative frameworks to protect consumers. The EU, in our view, also has a clear role to play. The situation calls, more than ever, for a comprehensive legal framework for online gambling.
Read our paper: AIM memorandum on gambling_covid19_final