Sports and race betting
Betting on the races and sporting events has always been popular, but online gambling has made it easier than ever to place a bet.
It's important to know where to draw the line between having an occasional wager and being swept up by betting.
It's one of the riskiest forms of gambling
People who bet on sporting events regularly, especially young men, are more likely to develop problems with gambling than people who gamble in other ways, say on lottery tickets or scratchies.
Research in 2015 found that 41% of people who regularly bet on sporting events experience one or more gambling-related problems.
Sports betting is big business
You can’t get away from betting adverts - they are on TV, in-stadiums online, and promoted through sponsorship deals.
In 2021, sports betting companies spent a collective $287.2 million on advertising in Australia.
Betting providers use clever marketing and new products to entice people to bet larger and more often. Their ads feature celebrities and use comedy to make sports betting seem like a fun social activity. They use targeted SMS and email marketing and entice people with offers like bonus bets.
They also offer products like ‘multis’, ‘quaddies’ and ‘quinellas’ which may seem exciting because of long odds – but have a very low chance of winning. If you know you’re easily enticed to bet above your limits, consider unsubscribing from betting provider marketing materials.
The community thinks there is too much advertising
Research has found that the Australian community is tired of the advertising.
More than half of Australians believe that betting advertising ‘normalises gambling among children’ and makes ‘betting seem like a normal part of sport’. The research also showed a link between exposure to wagering advertising and riskier betting behaviour.
How online betting has transformed sports and race betting
Participation in most forms of gambling in NSW is declining, but online betting is increasing. Why? Because it’s so easy to place sports and race bets online. 70% of all sports betting and 37% of race betting are now done this way. There is no need to go to the track or the TAB.
The convenience of online betting makes it risky because there are no restrictions on when and where you can bet. If you’re struggling to control your betting, you can block yourself from your betting accounts.
Who bets on sports or races?
The NSW Gambling Survey 2019 found that, over the previous 12 months, 1 in 20 adults in NSW had bet on sporting events and more than 1 in 10 had made racing bets. 6% of all NSW adults had bet on sporting events like football, cricket or tennis.
There’s a clear age divide. People aged 18 to 24 are more likely to bet on sporting events. Betting on horse or greyhound races is more popular with people aged 45 to 54. Either way, men are much more likely to bet more often than women.
Sports betting and young people
Young people feel enormous pressure to fit in. Like underage drinking and smoking, gambling can be a real problem. The ever-present promotion of sports betting can lead kids of all ages to believe that gambling is a normal part of sport and set them up for problems in the future.
Can you improve the odds?
Your knowledge may influence the outcomes of your sports and race betting to some extent. However, random events like margins and emotional involvement always play a part. It’s impossible to identify all the factors that will influence a race or a sports match. Weather, other horses’ or greyhounds’ form, injuries and accidents, illness … you can’t control the odds.