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The Gambling Behaviour and Attitudes to Sports Betting of Sports Fans

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Survey responses from a sample of nearly 15,000 Australian sports fans were used to study the determinants of: (i) gambling behaviour, including if a person does gamble and the type of gambling engaged with; (ii) the number of sports and non-sports bets made over a 12-month period; and (iii) attitudes towards betting on sports. The probability of betting on sports decreased with increasing age and was lower for women and people with a university education. This gender difference varied with age, with the greatest difference found among the young. Similar effects were observed for the number of sports bets made, which declined with age. The gender difference in the number of sports bets also varied with age with the greatest difference found among the young arising from the high propensity of young men to bet on sports. Attitudes to sports betting were also analysed, with a key finding that, within friendship circles, the views that sports betting is perceived as harmless, common and very much a part of enjoying sports were stronger among young men. These permissive attitudes were stronger among people who bet on sports and those who bet on sports more frequently. The analysis of sports fans provides insights into the characteristics of the target market most likely to bet on sports, which can be used to inform public health initiatives and harm reduction campaigns.


Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions. This research received funding from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.


Publication Date



Journal of Gambling Studies






33p. (p. 1371-1403)





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