Addiction Switzerland, an organization tasked with monitoring gambling and addiction levels, has been running annual surveys to help establish changes in the nation’s gambling behavior. In 2018, an estimated 25% of 1,395 people interviewed said that they would gamble online weekly. This number has since increased to 30% as of 2021, the organization said, with the data collated with the help of a regional addiction association from the Western part of the country.
Switzerland Sees an Increase Number of Gambling Addicts Grow
The numbers, revealed on Thursday, have confirmed a worry that Addiction Switzerland has had for a while, specifically that the availability of gambling products would lead to more cases of pathological gambling. The data argue that 5.2% of the people who gamble can be classified as such, up from 2.3% in 2018. In other words, even though online gambling activity has increased by 5%, the rate of problem gambling has increased by more than 50%.
Addiction Switzerland has more data to offer on who is the most impacted and why. People between 18 and 29 seem to be the most impacted by this problem. Around 19% of people in that group already show signs of gambling addiction or risky behavior. The average person in that age group spends around $175 (CHF162), which is ahead of $112 (CHF105).
The link in gambling activity is linked to two factors, according to the survey. One is the fact that online gambling in Switzerland has simply become more available over the past years, with land-based companies swiftly entering the online space. The country held a referendum and barred foreign operators from entering the regulated gambling market in Switzerland.
However, there have been many new suppliers offering their products locally to incentivize players into trying online gambling. Another contributing factor to the increase in online gambling is the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which left people with fewer entertainment options. Addiction Switzerland now insists that there should be a better information campaign among the most vulnerable age groups to help stem the tide and tackle the increase in overall rates of addiction.