Many Lebanese have nothing to lose, and squandering what is left no longer means anything. In light of the crisis and unemployment, many found in gambling and gambling a way to “win”. Betting on luck has turned into a “full time job” for some, to which they devote their time with “Overtime”, seeking a glimmer of hope that improves their living conditions.
Al-Akhbar newspaper indicated that the percentage of those coming to Casino du Liban in light of the economic crisis has increased by 30% over the normal periods that Lebanon was going through.
The newspaper mentioned that there are loyal gamblers and said: “The Lebanon Casino has its ‘loyal’ pioneers in periods of ease as well as in difficulty. In the halls, ”according to Roland Khoury, chairman of the casino’s board, stressing that it is“ historically ”that the casino has become more popular in times of crisis. Thus, in light of the monetary collapse, the spread of the epidemic and the disaster of the port explosion, the casino demand increased by 30% compared to last year Taking into account the conditions of social distancing, which had not been followed, the percentage would have jumped to 50%. ”The casino opening times due to“ Corona ”affected the number of players. According to Khoury,“ Business decreased significantly due to the closure. It returned to an acceptable increase when we opened the casino in June. “Until ten in the evening, but after we extended the closing time until 4 am, starting in July, turnout became excellent.”
But who caused this increase: those who are not in the condition of those who are looking for a penny “out of a cloud” or “twine” of roulette, or more affluent social groups? A question to which Khoury does not have a definitive answer. Despite his assertion that “the large increase in visitors leads us to think that people with limited financial means are visiting the casino in a remarkable way, but he assumes the research if one of the causes of this outburst is people spending dollars that they receive from abroad or those that they have hidden in homes?”
150 thousand dollars is not enough!
In a related context, Al-Akhbar reported: “The decline in the demand for the lotto in general since the 17th of last October. This decline may not only be related to the decrease in purchasing power and thus the difficulty of dispensing with 2000 pounds as the price of the lotto card, but also for psychological and practical reasons, of which banks bear a part.”
The newspaper added: “The General Manager of the” Lebanese Company for Games of Chance “, George Gharib, explained that” Lotto sales decreased by 50% after the popular uprising in mid-October, and then due to Corona and the comprehensive closure of the country for long periods. “But the collapse of the lira’s exchange rate also plays its role. In reducing the attractiveness of the lotto, as many prefer not to waste their luck “on the cheap”, according to what one of the currently retired lotto players says, or “open leave” as he likes to describe his current situation. For him, “the grand prize was worth one million dollars,” Now it is barely worth $ 150,000. ”
According to Gharib, the banks’ seizure of people’s deposits affected the enthusiasm of the lotto players, “because we hand over prizes through banks that allow limited withdrawals even in Lebanese pounds.” However, about 3 weeks ago, “and in order to avoid this obstacle, we hand over the money in cash to the winners.” This led to an increase in the demand for lotto, and after the company recorded a 50% decrease in its business after October 17th, this decrease has become today 20%.
In a related context, the news indicated that betting is sweeping the southern suburbs of Beirut, where unemployment is ravaging large numbers of young people. A worker at ALCAR reveals that “online betting was mainly based on sports and football matches, but things have expanded more now and it has become more like a casino in every sense of the word, as the gaming sites have increased the number of games they provide, so that the number has become more than a hundred . In short, the bet is on everything you can imagine. ”
Adding: “The collapse that toppled the banking sector significantly increased the business of illegal bookmakers. In the past, those who wanted to bet could use their bank cards, and the profits entered their bank account directly. Something that has become impossible for many now, they are now dealing with illegal bookmakers. Which «receives and receives money via delivery out of respect for social distancing and to prevent Corona.
There are currently 6 exchange rates approved in illegal bookmakers: either betting in pounds or dollars on the basis of 1,500 pounds, 3 thousand pounds, or 5,000 pounds (meaning that the profit doubles one and a half times, three or 5 times, as well as the loss), and finally betting in cash. That is, you pay a dollar and take a dollar. “
One of the bookmakers tells the news that Ali refuses to consider himself a gambler. What he does “is a work that requires research and investigative efforts and close press follow-up around the clock. Every single piece of news can make a difference. There are accurate calculations and the matter is not far from the mouth. I challenge if any sports journalist owns a quarter of my sports culture. ”
“Because the losses are successive, they are no longer of value to the meaning of loss,” says psychotherapist Martin Zogby Abu Zaid, as “the Lebanese have lost everything: their deposits in banks, their homes and relatives in the port explosion, the losses continue and the loss of additional money due to gambling no longer means anything. ». Not to mention that with “the deterioration of the price of the pound, the gambler started thinking that 100,000 pounds are no longer worth anything.” In addition, according to Abu Zeid, “The existence of a basic motive for playing is amusement and entertainment due to Corona’s pressures, economic conditions and their psychological repercussions on them. These are not necessarily all looking for material profit, but rather for a sense of joy that profit generates, even if for a limited period. ”
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