Research Topic

Gambling During COVID-19: Changes, Risks, Challenges and Opportunities in the Wake of COVID-19

About this Research Topic

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on everyday life. One concern that that was raised early and even prompted legal action in many countries, was that gambling activity would increase as a result of quarantining and a feared increase in prevalence of emotional distress. However, early research reports suggested that gambling activity in general decreased rather than increased during the first phase of the pandemic, but also that many gamblers who were vulnerable before the pandemic were hit hard by the pandemic. 


As the world has both adapted to the pandemic and been hit by second and third waves, much remains to be learned about how COVID-19 affected and continues to affect gambling. The second and third wave of COVID-19 has now hit many countries and concerns about its consequences has once again been raised. The goal of this research topic is to examine the impact of COVID-19 on gambling from a broad perspective, bringing together a variety of methods and data sources to provide a comprehensive picture with clear policy implications.


For this research topic, we welcome all original contributions and systematic reviews examining the impact of COVID-19 on gambling – both problem gambling and recreational (when it has implications for problem gambling). This includes (but is not limited to):

• Studies based on naturalistic account tracking data that investigates temporal and/or geographical changes in gambling behavior across different waves of COVID-19 and societal responses.

• Survey studies investigating gambling problems, attitudes and the perceived effects of the pandemic.

• Qualitative investigations covering the experiences of gamblers during the pandemic.

• Studies investigating the effects of treatment-seeking and treatment delivery during the pandemic.

• Studies conducted in other parts of the world than Europe and North America.

Researchers are welcome to submit a preliminary abstract (without full results) to allow the guest editors to assess suitability.


Keywords: Gambling, COVID-19, effect, treatment, patterns of change


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on everyday life. One concern that that was raised early and even prompted legal action in many countries, was that gambling activity would increase as a result of quarantining and a feared increase in prevalence of emotional distress. However, early research reports suggested that gambling activity in general decreased rather than increased during the first phase of the pandemic, but also that many gamblers who were vulnerable before the pandemic were hit hard by the pandemic. 


As the world has both adapted to the pandemic and been hit by second and third waves, much remains to be learned about how COVID-19 affected and continues to affect gambling. The second and third wave of COVID-19 has now hit many countries and concerns about its consequences has once again been raised. The goal of this research topic is to examine the impact of COVID-19 on gambling from a broad perspective, bringing together a variety of methods and data sources to provide a comprehensive picture with clear policy implications.


For this research topic, we welcome all original contributions and systematic reviews examining the impact of COVID-19 on gambling – both problem gambling and recreational (when it has implications for problem gambling). This includes (but is not limited to):

• Studies based on naturalistic account tracking data that investigates temporal and/or geographical changes in gambling behavior across different waves of COVID-19 and societal responses.

• Survey studies investigating gambling problems, attitudes and the perceived effects of the pandemic.

• Qualitative investigations covering the experiences of gamblers during the pandemic.

• Studies investigating the effects of treatment-seeking and treatment delivery during the pandemic.

• Studies conducted in other parts of the world than Europe and North America.

Researchers are welcome to submit a preliminary abstract (without full results) to allow the guest editors to assess suitability.


Keywords: Gambling, COVID-19, effect, treatment, patterns of change


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

03 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

03 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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