Skin in the game - Erroneous beliefs and emotional involvement as correlates of athletes' sports betting behavior and problems

Christopher Jones, Benjamin Noël

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitungsartikel


Background and aims
The sports betting market has been growing rapidly over the last years, as have reports of problematic gambling behavior associated with betting. Due to the well-documented gambling problems of famous athletes and the betting supportive nature of many sports-related environments, athletes have been highlighted as a potential group at-risk for problematic sports betting. However, there currently remains a lack of research on individual-level athlete-specific risk-factors or mechanisms that might contribute to the development and perpetuation of betting-related problems. Here, we examine the influence of two potential risk-factors on sports betting behavior and problems: erroneous beliefs and athletes' emotional involvement.

201 athletes with different levels of expertise completed a newly developed scale to assess both factors. Participants were sampled from the general German population, predominantly male (83.08%) and on average 29.52 (SD = 11.05) years old. We use principal components analysis to detect patterns of covariation, potentially due to the proposed underlying latent factors, and regression analyses to test associations of these factors with betting behavior and problems.

We find that athletes' emotional involvement was strongly associated with betting problems whereas erroneous beliefs were not. However, distorted cognitions/beliefs were associated with higher volumes and more frequent betting activities.

Discussion and Conclusions
This might contribute to betting problems in the long run. These results highlight athletes' emotional involvement and erroneous beliefs as potential targets for future intervention and prevention efforts.
ZeitschriftJournal of behavioral addictions
PublikationsstatusElektronisch/ online veröffentlicht vor Drucklegung - 18.06.2021