Survey commissioned by Romanian Bookmakers, Rombet and Romslot reveals industry perception and fears.
With the industry closed three times and technological unemployment turned from an unknown term into a painful, self-experienced experience, more than 6 out of 10 employees in this industry would vaccinate against COVID-19 if the employer recommended vaccination. The data show that there is a real need for information on COVID-19 vaccines among employees in the gambling industry. The primary information of interest to this population category is related to how vaccines have been tested (clinical studies), the degree of incidence and severity of adverse effects, their effectiveness, the duration of immunization.
However, the study shows that the whole industry must join forces to combat the types, mistrust, and fake news associated with the three COVID-19 vaccines administered in Romania. The good news is that only 6% of the gambling industry employees say they do not have enough information when it comes to general health issues. The primary sources of health information for the 45,000 employees in sports betting agencies and gambling halls are Internet sites, doctors, television, social networks, family, and employer.
The IRES survey shows that, in general, the attitude towards vaccination is positive. 54% of the gambling industry employees have a favorable opinion about available vaccines, 15% remain skeptical about them, and 1 in 3 have neither pro nor anti-vaccine opinions. 96% of study participants were vaccinated at least once, 71% were with compulsory vaccines alone.
The study’s results paid for by Romanian Bookmakers, Rombet, and Romslot show that the bans during the pandemic majorly affected employees in the gambling industry, with 8 out of 10 employees saying they were affected in the past year. 91% said they were affected, said they were technically unemployed, and 87% said their incomes had been reduced. Failure to travel, changing working conditions, and inability to work full time are other reasons cited by employees as stressors. More than 2 out of 3 employees in the gambling industry are concerned about the possibility of a family member or themselves becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, the dramatic changes in the lives of the 45,000 employees are not reflected in the level of information and confidence about vaccination against COVID-19.
When respondents were asked what the level of information about the COVID-19 vaccination was, 79% said they had enough information. In contrast, 90% of gambling employees know that vaccination is voluntary, 84% know that immunization is free, 56% are convinced that it is necessary to lift restrictions, and 78% know that two doses of vaccine are needed to gain immunity. Of the three vaccines currently used in Romania’s national vaccination campaign, 1 in 3 respondents prefer the Pfizer variant, 3% Moderna, 4% AstraZeneca, and one in ten has no preference.
Intention to vaccinate.
The intention to vaccinate in the context of the availability of the vaccine against COVID-19 is found in 45% of employees in the gambling industry, while 33% are reluctant to vaccinate, and 22% had not decided by the time of the survey. Young people and those without higher education are more reluctant to vaccinate than those over 40 or with higher education. Proponents of the vaccine are motivated to protect their own health and that of their families and return to life before the pandemic, without restrictions, including from a workplace perspective. The main arguments of the undecided are fear of side effects, concerns about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Skeptics are also marked by distrust of the authorities and pharmaceutical companies or the denial of the existence or seriousness of COVID-19.
The employer’s role.
By their own example, those who do not intend to be vaccinated could be persuaded in the highest proportion by family members, employers, and colleagues. In fact, 62% of the gambling industry employees would be immunized if the employer recommended vaccination to make the industry safer. Nearly two-thirds of employees in sports betting agencies and slot machines would be willing to receive more information about vaccination against COVID-19 from employers!
„The study reveals that employers are considered sources of information and a vector of influence for employees. The information provided by employers, their own example supplied by colleagues and employers can influence the perception, attitude, and behavior of employees so that the vaccination option is an appropriate and informed decision,” says Dan Jurcan, director of IRES Research.
The study PERCEPTIONS, ATTITUDES, AND BEHAVIORS OF THE GAMBLING INDUSTRIES EMPLOYEES REGARDING THE PROCESS OF VACCINATION AGAINST COVID-19 was conducted between March 5 and 9, 2021, on a sample of 3,963 employees in the slot-machine gaming industry.