Journal of Gambling Studies
School of Business and Law
Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions
This paper extends our understanding of how casino patrons are affected by COVID-19 restrictions and how they cope by substituting gambling with alcohol consumption. We conducted two studies using a nationwide survey sample collected in Australia during the pandemic lockdown. Study 1 compares the casino patrons with two reference groups (other gambling patrons and non-gambling individuals) and investigates the lockdown restrictions on respondents’ relational strength, and their potential impact on mental health and future prospects. Study 2 applies the stress-response dampening model (SRD) and tests how respondents used alcohol consumption to cope with the lack of access to casinos during the lockdown. The results from Study 1 suggest that lockdown restrictions on respondents’ relational strength have significant negative impacts on anxiety, life satisfaction and post-pandemic outlook. Study 2 finds that casino patrons substituted gambling with alcohol consumption during the lockdown, with increased alcohol consumption negatively related to life satisfaction. Paradoxically, Australian gambling venue owners may not be adversely affected as many also run liquor retail operations. © 2023, The Author(s).
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