- According to the Financial Times, gambling hotlines in the United States are reporting a sharp increase in calls related to unhealthy daily transactions.
- The New Jersey hotline has seen day trading calls jump nearly 50% since the start of the pandemic.
- The SEC has recently taken an interest in such concerns regarding the gamification of brokerage houses.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Gambling hotlines in the United States are reporting a sharp rise in the number of calls related to unhealthy day trading as the SEC focuses on so-called gamification, according to a Financial Times report.
New Jersey’s 1-800-Gambler helpline has seen inbound day trading calls jump nearly 50% since the start of the pandemic, Felicia Grondin, head of the gambling council’s problem gambling board, told FT. ‘State.
This trend appears to be continuing across the country, according to Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
“User experience is converging and the line between gambling and investing, which was already fairly fluid, has been almost completely blurred,” Whyte told the FT, adding that while problem gambling is often stigmatized, self-described investors do not. not see each other. as players.
Grondin said the playful graphics and animations that track trades on popular brokerage apps like Robinhood and Webull signal users’ brains to keep trading.
“When you step up this activity, it starts to reconnect a person’s brain and results in a habit that for some leads to addiction,” she said.
But while the dynamics of addiction may be similar, Grondin pointed out that calls to the helpline for day trading were still low compared to those for lotteries or sports betting.
The SEC recently took an interest in such gamification concerns, asking for public comment ahead of possible new regulations.
This drew criticism from Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, who wrote in a September Wall Street Journal editorial that portraying new retail investors as ignorant gamers was both offensive and false.
“Investing isn’t a game, but does it have to be dark and hard to understand? Tenev wrote.