The Impact of Sports Betting on Athletes

Following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that legalized sports betting in certain states, many questions still linger about its effect on college athletes. Those opposed to sport gambling claim it corrupts youth, allows organized crime into sports and takes money away from people who cannot afford to lose it.


Sports betting entails betting on an outcome of a game and being paid if it occurs. The most common types of bets include moneyline, spread, and parlay.

Sports betting not only presents other risks, but it can also compromise the integrity of a sport. This practice, known as competition manipulation, may take place for financial gain or in an effort to influence a game’s outcome.

Integrity fees are frequently advocated by professional leagues as a solution to address these concerns. But they also raise questions about how such fees will impact betting markets’ efficiency; specifically, an integrity fee might alter odds offered to bettors, decreasing incentives for books to push certain games more heavily.


Sports betting is readily accessible online, on mobile phones and at physical venues. This has increased the sport’s growing popularity and seen an uptick in bets placed on professional sports teams.

This has also led to an increased risk of cheating in competitions, as athletes can gain an edge through betting. A drop of a pass or miss on a kick could alter the outcome by several points and affect payouts.

Despite the NCAA’s prohibition, 9% of athletes reported gambling at least once a month and 2.2% met diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder (see Box 4).

Athletes who possess a competitive spirit and are driven by performance-oriented goals may be particularly vulnerable to problem and pathological sports betting. Further research is necessary to assess how universities should educate athletes about the dangers associated with sports betting, as well as provide support in preventing problem gambling behaviors.


Sports betting’s rapid expansion online offers easy, 24/7 access to gambling, which presents a potential for harm and risk – particularly among young men.

When considering young men’s gambling engagement, public health strategies that focus on individual determinants and responsibility paradigms must be expanded to take into account the range of social and commercial influences that shape this activity.

Firstly, the study revealed that young men’s risk perceptions of gambling capability were shaped by a variety of early experiences and social contexts. This included exposure to gambling advertising in sports, the gambling behaviors of social networks, as well as peer rivalry and competition free sportsbook bet no deposit.

The study also revealed that young men’s motivations for sports betting as a risk activity were strongly connected to their social position in peer and group interactions, as well as their own sense of self-worth. These findings have important ramifications when determining appropriate public health responses to gambling related harm.


Motivation is a critical element in any successful sports betting strategy. Not only does it influence player loyalty and customer retention, but also affects betting revenues. Generally, gambling motivations stem from a desire for money and recognition – both of which are connected with extrinsic rewards (money). However, players also draw motivation from intrinsic factors such as social gain, intellectual challenge, enthusiasm, and entertainment/fun.

Sports betting’s motivational components can have a major influence on the risk of addiction. Three studies were conducted to explore this relationship, using an SBMS scale for measuring sport betting motivation (SBMS) and PSBSI (Problem Sports Betting Severity Index).

Under the guidance of self-determination theory, qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews and focus groups with Australian men aged 18-34. These young men engaged in personalized webs of motives that align with five SDT behavioral regulations: autonomous, socialization, relatedness, competence, and fun.

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