April 11, 2024 3 min read

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Study Reveals Troubling Link Between Sports Betting and Binge Drinking

During a three-week span in the spring of 2022, over 4,300 adults in the US took part in a survey, on which the study is based

A recent study has shed light on a concerning trend among sports bettors in the United States: a higher likelihood of binge drinking compared to non-gamblers or those who do not wager on sports.

Study Shows Sports Bettors 1.9 Times More Likely to Binge Drink

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of New Mexico, and published in the journal JAMA Network Open, reveals a significant correlation between sports gambling and excessive alcohol consumption.

Over a three-week period in spring 2022, more than 4,300 adults across the nation participated in the survey. Of these, nearly 1,800 identified themselves as sports gamblers, while the rest either abstained from gambling or engaged in other forms of gambling not related to sports.

The results were striking. Sports gamblers were found to be at least 1.9 times more likely to engage in binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a single sitting, compared to their non-gambling counterparts.

Moreover, the frequency of binge drinking increased in tandem with the frequency of gambling on sports events. This suggests a potentially dangerous pattern of behavior among avid sports bettors.

Researcher Urges Action to Address Alcohol Risks in Sports Betting

Lead researcher Shane W. Kraus, a psychology professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and an expert in addiction, expressed concern over the findings. He emphasized the need for greater awareness and education regarding the risks associated with heavy alcohol consumption, particularly within the context of sports wagering.

Kraus noted that their study suggested sports bettors appeared to use alcohol in particularly risky ways. He emphasized the importance of informing individuals about the potential dangers of combining alcohol with sports gambling.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence highlighting the correlation between substance misuse and sports betting. Previous research has indicated that sports gamblers often indulge in substance use while gambling, a behavior that may stem from their inclination toward risk-taking.

The implications of these findings are significant, especially considering the increasing accessibility of sports wagering in the US, thanks to mobile applications and online platforms. 

As sports betting continues to proliferate, there is a pressing need for further research to understand and address the underlying factors contributing to risky drinking behaviors among sports bettors.The study underscores the importance of promoting responsible gambling practices and raising awareness about the potential pitfalls of excessive alcohol consumption within the context of sports wagering.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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