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Sports-Embedded Gambling Promotions: A Study of Exposure, Sports Betting Intention and Problem Gambling Amongst Adults

Abstract

Community, media and government concerns have emerged about promoting sports betting during televised sports broadcasts, which now contain betting operators’ logos, signage, websites, commentary and betting odds. Despite large television audiences being exposed, limited research has examined how these promotions shape gambling behaviour, particularly amongst problem gamblers. Underpinned by the Theory of Reasoned Action, this study explored whether exposure and attitude to gambling promotions during televised sport predict sports betting intention and whether this relationship varies with problem gambling severity. Surveys were conducted with 1,000 adults in Queensland, Australia. Strongest predictors of greater intended frequency of sports betting were higher problem gambling severity, previous sports betting participation, more frequent exposure to the promotions, and more positive attitudes towards them. Results suggest that the audience most likely to be stimulated by these promotions are problem gamblers because they have greatest exposure and a favourable disposition to them, and report they have maintained or worsened their problem sports betting behaviours. Policy and public health interventions may be needed to counter these pervasive media messages.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Exotic betting’ involves placing bets, either before or during a match, on individual events and contingencies within a match, such as number of goals scored, points won or penalties awarded, with these exotic bets sometimes relating to particular players, teams or time periods (e.g., the first set of a tennis match) (JSCGR, 2011). Bookmakers can also offer ‘novelty bets’. These include bets made available to a limited number of people (e.g., to the first 100 callers), for a limited time (e.g., for the next five minutes), or with a conditional money-back guarantee (e.g., the team backed loses by ten points or less).

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by a Responsible Gambling Research Grant from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General. We also acknowledge statistical advice from Alex Russell of the Centre for Gambling Education and Research at Southern Cross University.

Conflicts of Interest

Author A, Author B, Author C and Author D have no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to this paper. Author A, Author B, Author C and Author D declare that they have no financial relationship with the organisation that sponsored this research.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Hing, N., Lamont, M., Vitartas, P. et al. Sports-Embedded Gambling Promotions: A Study of Exposure, Sports Betting Intention and Problem Gambling Amongst Adults. Int J Ment Health Addiction 13, 115–135 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-014-9519-9

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Keywords

  • Gambling
  • Sports betting
  • Sport
  • Promotions
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Exposure