On the Spur of the Moment: Intrinsic Predictors of Impulse Sports Betting Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Betting on impulse, without thoughtful consideration, research or informed decision-making, may cause financial and other harms and lead to the development of gambling problems. Impulse betting undermines responsible consumption of gambling because it reflects self-regulatory failure, impaired control, unreflective decision-making and betting more than planned. In this paper we define impulse gambling and report on a study that aimed to understand more about the intrinsic characteristics of sports bettors who have a greater tendency to bet on impulse. Specifically, the study aimed to identify behavioural, psychological and socio-demographic predictors of impulse sports betting. A sample of 1816 Australian sports bettors completed an online survey that measured the proportion of their bets placed on impulse both before and during sporting events, as well as bets that were researched and planned in advance. Impulse betting was common, accounting for nearly one-half of all past-year sports bets by respondents. Over three-quarters of respondents had placed one or more impulse bets in the last year and one in seven respondents had made all of their sports bets on impulse. More impulsive sports bettors were characterised as having higher trait impulsiveness, higher problem gambling severity, more frequent sports betting and a shorter history of sports betting. They favoured betting on in-match contingencies instead of overall match outcomes. While health promotion strategies are needed to discourage impulse betting, research into contextual factors that arouse urges to bet would also provide direction for harm minimisation measures that help consumers to resist impulsive betting decisions.

publication date

  • 2018