This thesis examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual gambling behavior by testing whether ticket sales and revenues in the multi-state parimutuel PowerBall and MegaMillions lotteries decreased or increased between the pre-COVID and COVID periods in Florida, Texas, and Colorado. Two competing hypotheses are investigated. First, gambling activity may have decreased during COVID either due to increased risk-aversion induced by the pandemic, negative changes in household income from the loss of employment, or a combination of the two. Second, gambling activity may have increased during COVID either due to increased willingness to take risks, substitution of income previously spent on other recreational activities to consumption of gambling products, or a combination of the two. To test these hypotheses, I use linear regression methods to model sales of tickets and revenues over the period from May 2016 to March 2022. My findings reveal that ticket sales decreased across all three states and PowerBall revenues declined significantly in Florida during the COVID period. Additionally, the mean marginal effects of the lagged amount of the jackpot and the unemployment rate differ significantly between the periods.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Business Administration
Sundberg, Xiaoling W., "Effects of The COVID-19 Pandemic on Gambling Behavior and Revenues: A Multi-state Analysis" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1264.