S. Korean home-based securities traders becoming hooked to gambling
South Korea's securities traders seeking help for gambling addiction have tripled in number to 214 from March to May since their pandemic-induced work-from-home setup has freed up more time for stock trading.
According to the Korea Center on Gambling Problems, the growth rate eclipsed the overall 16 percent rise in calls seeking help.
Experts say that the trend is a worrying sign of when social distancing practices such as work-from-home become the norm.
Working in isolation provides fewer mechanisms, such as peer support, to check addictive behavior.
There is also no social stigma associated with compulsive stock trading than traditional forms of gambling that may act as a deterrent even though the stimulation behind both is similar.
While South Korea has not enforced any lockdown measures to minimize infections even during the pandemic's height in February and March, people and businesses followed government guidelines and instituted work-from-home arrangements.