Sports and race betting
Betting on the races and sporting events has always been popular, but availability of online gambling makes it easier than ever. The ads are everywhere.
Is having a wager on your favourite team now and then, or having the odd racing bet a sign you have a problem with gambling? It's important to know where to draw the line between loving the sport and being swept up by betting.
One thing's for sure, with smartphones and online accounts, sports betting is at everyone's fingertips 24/7.
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 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 sports betting through TV ads, in-stadium signage, sponsorship deals and online promotion. It makes no difference whether you’re watching a match or a race, whether you’re physically there or watching remotely.
In 2018 alone, over $270 million was spent on gambling advertising in Australia.
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. No need to see your bookie, or go to the track or even the TAB. That convenience makes it more risky.
What someone who bets on sports or racing looks like
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 may 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.
Is it possible to 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.