Some "addicts" fall back on online games - JS EVRARD / SIPA

  • For almost 50 days, France has been confined.
  • Withdrawal or online gambling, problem gamblers have found themselves addicted.
  • Some fear deconfinement, which could be a new test.

The anxiety. France confined for more than a month to slow the spread of the coronavirus, everyone will have had the experience of being alone. Except that, for some, it also means facing particularly devious devils. Much has been said about the changes that containment has brought about in the consumption of alcohol, drugs or tobacco. But the “addicts” to gambling, gambling and other bets have also found themselves confronted with their addictions. Sometimes brutally.

From this forced withdrawal will have resulted a deep distress, but also a rush towards games of "substitution". The Internet has become, for Benjamin as for others, an open-air casino: "Since the beginning of confinement I try to channel the lack by sleight of hand, the casino has been replaced by poker games in line until no time. Bets on sports games are offset by an even larger purchase of scratch games. Psychologically, confinement is difficult since being isolated, I cannot control myself and I am obsessed with the idea of ​​playing. ", He admits. A quasi-physical need shared by Brian: “The first month allowed me a slight withdrawal but the lack came in a powerful way after the 4th week. I started depositing money on an online slot machine site ... I also strongly played the lottery by taking 30 grids at once repeatedly and complete notebooks of scratch games. "

Large sums lost

Inevitably, these impulses are accompanied by consequent pecuniary losses for the “addicts”: “I am addicted to gambling for more than 30 years and for me the confinement was catastrophic. I turned to online poker and I have already lost 7,000 euros, ”says Nicolas.

On these same online sites, Romé and his friends "all lost several thousand euros". They also criticize them for a system that encourages them to play, with "weeks of waiting" to recover their winnings. Benjamin, who told us of his dismay earlier, even says that he can sometimes “bet 200 euros in poker in the space of 5 minutes, to satisfy a drive. "

Lucia Romo, psychologist and university professor in clinical psychology specializing in addictions, also points out that "the absence of a social framework for the game, with, for example, closing times or a loved one who could calm the player's frenzy, encourages heavy spending. "

A glimmer of hope ?

However, other “game addicts” seem to have found in confinement an opportunity to overcome their addiction, or at least to try to do so. "I thank this confinement because it is the longest period of my life when I have not set foot in a casino since I was 18 (I am 37) my finances are better and I feel better. Let's just hope not to run back there as soon as the casino reopens, ”blows Laurent.

Hope is therefore accompanied by a fear, that of relapse, which Gaston shares: “For 6 weeks now, I have been sleeping a lot better because my demons and my nocturnal anxieties linked to gambling have disappeared. I even, like a former smoker, dream that I played and wake up ashamed of this situation but relieved that it is only a nightmare. I fear deconfinement because it may be a new test for me. I'm afraid I won't be able to control myself and relapse. In this case, self-detestation is likely to be even stronger because I will have fucked up two months of weaning and fighting. "

A backlash that Jordan, who works in a casino, thinks inevitable: "I am almost sure that the money saved during this period will help them, for the majority, to play harder and longer when the casinos reopen . "

The danger of "wanting to redo"

Such eagerness would be, according to Lucia Romo, the worst possible scenario: "The confinement will have created additional frustrations, while retaining the mistaken belief that only the game can allow them to" redo ". If they have spent large sums of money online during these few weeks, the danger is that problem gamblers will tend towards total relaxation on May 11 and that they will rush to play to recover what they have lost during this period. . For her, a control of the advertisements, as well as more information on the places of care and listening lines, could be necessary out of confinement. History to avoid that people, already in difficulty, do not sink more into addiction.

As a reminder, if you feel the need, it is possible to contact "Joueurs Info Service" on 09 74 75 13 13 between eight and two in the morning.


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  • Covid 19
  • Confinement
  • Silver
  • Coronavirus
  • Addiction
  • Online poker
  • Society