At-risk and problem gamblers increase in France during second lockdown

France’s national gaming authority the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ)’s latest survey has revealed that the French second confinement has “favoured the arrival of new players to online practices”, representing risks “in terms of addiction, or even to online casino sites which are illegal in France.”

An unprecedented context

The ANJ commissioned this report to explore the influence of lockdown on the gambling pattern of French players. The survey was conducted in December 2020 by market research agency Harris Interactive to assess “the effect of an unprecedented situation on player habits” and whether the second confinement had raised player risks.

A sample of 3,013 online players that gambled during 2020 was surveyed, then split into quotas of sex, age-group, region and profession.

  • 75% of players have gambled during the second confinement, among which 80% gambled online.
  • 57% of players stated that winning money was their main “personal motivations”.
  • 43% stating that gambling was a “force of habit”.
  • 19% declared wanting to reduce-or-change their gambling habits.

New lockdown, new gamblers and less control

The French regulator’s survey also showed that 5% of players are “new gamblers” that had never gambled up until the second confinement, of which 13% were in the age group of 18-24, who were enticed by “having more free time” (22%) and had the “desire to fight confinement’s boredom” (22%).

While 21% said they stopped gambling once lockdown was lifted in 2021, the survey further found that 1-in-10 players stated, “that they had trouble keeping control”, casino play being described as overwhelming by 52% of respondents.

The younger cohorts are particularly touched with 16% of 18-to-24 and 14% of 25-to-34 year that “felt a loss of control during the second confinement”.

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