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      Sports betting incentives encourage gamblers to select the long odds: An experimental investigation using monetary rewards

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          Abstract

          Background and aims

          Incentives for wagering products can provide extra value to gamblers. However, there is no financial reason why this added value should lead people to take greater gambling risks. This study aimed to experimentally test if wagering incentives cause gamblers to choose higher-risk (long odds) bets than un-incentivized bets.

          Methods

          An online experiment was conducted with wagering customers ( N = 299, female = 12). Participants bet $4 on each of six video game simulations of a sport that they had wagered on in the past 12 months (Australian Football League, Cricket, or Soccer). Each game offered different common wagering incentives: Bonus bet, Better odds/winnings, Reduced risk, Cash rebate, Player’s choice of inducement, or No-inducement. For each game, participants could bet on long, medium, or short odds, and subsequently viewed a highlight reel of the simulated game outcome and bet outcome.

          Results

          Participants selected significantly longer odds (i.e., riskier) bets on games when an incentive was offered compared to the No-inducement condition. Better odds/winnings was the most attractive incentive, followed by Bonus bet, Cash rebate, Reduced risk, and No-incentive, respectively. No significant differences were observed based on demographics or problem gambling severity.

          Discussion and conclusions

          The choice of long odds with incentivized bets increases the volatility of player returns. Increased volatility results in more gamblers in a losing position and fewer gamblers with larger wins. Moreover, if long odds bets are priced to provide poorer value to bettors compared to short odds, they would increase gamblers’ losses and equivalently increase operators’ profits.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Marketing and Advertising Online Sports Betting: A Problem Gambling Perspective

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            Bet Anywhere, Anytime: An Analysis of Internet Sports Bettors’ Responses to Gambling Promotions During Sports Broadcasts by Problem Gambling Severity

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              Maintaining and losing control during internet gambling: A qualitative study of gamblers' experiences

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                07 June 2019
                June 2019
                : 8
                : 2
                : 268-276
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity , Bundaberg, QLD, Australia
                [2 ]Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity , Sydney, NSW, Australia
                [3 ]Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity , Melbourne, VIC, Australia
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Matthew J. Rockloff, BA, MS, PhD; Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity, Building 408, University Drive (off Isis Highway), Bundaberg, QLD 4670, Australia; Phone: +61 7 4150 7138; E-mail: m.rockloff@ 123456cqu.edu.au
                Article
                10.1556/2006.8.2019.30
                7044548
                31172813
                © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 25, Pages: 9
                Product
                Funding
                Funding sources: This study was funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation: Tender for the project entitled “Effects of wagering marketing on vulnerable adults,” #1–16.
                Categories
                Full-Length Report

                wagering, sports betting, inducements, incentives, gambling

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