The increase in online sports betting is having a negative effect on young men

While online sports betting sites have struggled to make up for lost revenue during COVID-19, new research shows the sudden rise in the industry could negatively impact the lives of young men.

A study by Darragh McGee of the University of Bath focused on 32 men between the ages of 18 and 35 who were regular online sports players, who were asked to keep a diary of all their betting activity. .

After 30 days, each went through an in-depth interview where they reflected on their sports betting experiences and how it impacted their lives.

A new study from the University of Bath followed regular online sports players aged 18-35 for 30 days and found that many struggled with debt, anxiety and an inability to enjoy the games. without betting on them.

Feedback was largely negative, with respondents reporting a wide range of emotional and financial stress brought on by their betting activities.

According to McGee, research suggests it may be time to view online sports gambling as a health issue rather than a financial issue.

“We urgently need to reframe the debates on sports gambling, to recognize it as a public health issue that has important implications for individual, family and community well-being,” McGee said in an interview with the University of Bath News Blog.

As you might expect, one of the most common forms of distress was anxiety and over-indebtedness, which could quickly spiral out of control.

“I am visibly in debt because of the payday loans,” said a 31-year-old man. “I’m blacklisted with them all. I’m in debt of around £ 15,000 to them alone. Everything for the game. ‘

“It took my life for a while. When my daughter was born, I used to sit on the computer to play continuously all day. ‘

According to the study, an immediate change that could help those struggling with their gambling habits would be a ban on “whistling” on sports betting advertisements during games.

According to the study, an immediate change that could help those struggling with their gambling habits would be a ban on “whistling” on sports betting advertisements during games.

Many have reported that the ease and anonymity of online interfaces, especially smartphone apps, makes the need to keep betting overwhelming, even as debts rise.

“It attracts people, definitely,” said the 23-year-old. “And that encourages you to think bigger. Bet 365 was making a 100% bonus if you deposit £ 200. ‘

“Suddenly you think you have £ 400 credit to bet on. And you have to bet a number of times, but the offer has caught your eye by the time you realize it.

Some betting journalists, their habits had gradually changed, so that they could not enjoy watching a game without having money on it.

Some betting journalists, their habits had gradually changed, so that they could not enjoy watching a game without having money on it.

Ironically, many respondents said their gambling habits had ruined their ability to play sports.

“When I was younger I couldn’t wait to come home from school to see Man United play in the Champions League,” said a 23-year-old.

“Now I’m sitting there thinking about what to bet tonight. I can’t remember the last time I watched the game like a real fan. ‘

According to McGee, a few simple changes could have an immediate effect on the industry, including a ban on “whistling” on advertisements for sports betting services during a game.

“Greater accountability should also be demanded from the major stakeholders in sport, including clubs, athletes, league associations and event organizers who benefit from the revenue streams provided by gaming operators without due consideration. implications for the public health of their fans, ”McGee said.

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