Heliyon 7 (7) e07506 [2021-07-00; online 2021-07-08]
Problem gambling is among the public health hazards which may increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences on society. Results from a few countries have hitherto been diverse with respect to gambling during the pandemic. The present study aimed to study gambling behaviors during COVID-19 in Denmark, with the same methodology as previously used in Sweden, and also to provide a comparison to previously published Swedish data. A web survey was answered by 2,012 individuals, from December 2, to December 10, 2020. Four percent reported increased gambling habits, and three percent reported decreased gambling, during COVID-19. Self-reported increase in gambling was associated with spending more time at home, mental distress, and higher gambling severity. Prevalence of self-reported, increased gaming during COVID-19 was significantly lower in Denmark than in Sweden. Although the overall changes in gambling patterns during COVID-19 may be limited, people who increase their gambling during the pandemic may be at particular risk. Stakeholders should pay attention to individuals who report altered gambling habits during the pandemic.