Gambling Risk Groups are Not All the Same: Risk Factors Amongst Sports Bettors Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Sports betting is increasing worldwide, with an associated increase in sports betting-related problems. Previous studies have examined risk factors for problem gambling amongst sports bettors and have identified demographic, behavioural, marketing, normative and impulsiveness factors. These studies have generally compared those in problem gambling, or a combination of moderate risk and problem gambling, groups to non-problem gamblers, often due to statistical power issues. However, recent evidence suggests that, at a population level, the bulk of gambling-related harm stems from low risk and moderate risk gamblers, rather than problem gamblers. Thus it is essential to understand the risk factors for each level of gambling-related problems (low risk, moderate risk, problem) separately. The present study used a large sample (N = 1813) to compare each gambling risk group to non-problem gamblers, first using bivariate and then multivariate statistical techniques. A range of demographic, behavioural, marketing, normative and impulsiveness variables were included as possible risk factors. The results indicated that some variables, such as gambling expenditure, number of accounts with different operators, number of different types of promotions used and impulsiveness were significantly higher for all risk groups, while others such as some normative factors, age, gender and particular sports betting variables only applied to those with the highest level of gambling-related problems. The results generally supported findings from previous literature for problem gamblers, and extended these findings to low risk and moderate risk groups. In the future, where statistical power allows, risk factors should be assessed separately for all levels of gambling problems.

publication date

  • 2018