1. In this study, sports bettors in general tended to have high levels of problem gambling, and sports-betting involvement was frequently associated with greater problem-gambling severity.

2. Research on marketing and promotion of sports betting was most prevalent in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Evidence Rating Level: 3 (Average)

Sports betting has been a rapidly growing industry across the world. One main concern with this behavior is that it may be a possible risk factor for problematic gambling behaviors such as chasing losses, preoccupation with gambling, and financial loss. As a result, the objective of the present systematic review was to examine the associations between sports-betting behaviors and psychosocial problems, as well as explore differences between Western and non-Western cultures.

Of 2450 identified records, 65 were included in the review from January 2010 to March 2022. Studies were included if they had a major focus on sports betting or sports bettors and originated from primary data sources. Studies were excluded if participants were children, adolescents, college students, sports athletes, treatment seeking as well as if the gambling related to esports, loot boxes/micro transactions, horse racing, etc. The authors then grouped articles into 6 common domains in relation to sports betting.

Results demonstrated that sports bettors in general tended to have high levels of problem gambling, and sports-betting involvement was frequently associated with greater problem-gambling severity. Psychosocial problems did not appear to differ greatly by country. Furthermore, research on marketing and promotion of sports betting was most prevalent in Australia and the United Kingdom. This could possibly be due to these locations having an environment where marketing and promotion of sports betting is acceptable and common. Despite these findings, the study was limited by the strict search criteria which may have excluded potentially relevant articles as well as those in the grey literature. Nonetheless, these results may inform future research in determining how different aspects of sports-betting in different cultures may be related to problem gambling.

Click to read the study in Journal of Behavioral Addictions 

Image: PD

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