Can positive social perception and reduced stigma be a problem in sports betting? A qualitative focus group study with Spanish sports bettors undergoing treatment for gambling disorder

Lopez-Gonzalez, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-1249-2623, Estévez, A. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2018. Can positive social perception and reduced stigma be a problem in sports betting? A qualitative focus group study with Spanish sports bettors undergoing treatment for gambling disorder. Journal of Gambling Studies. ISSN 1573-3602

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Abstract

The way society perceives problem gambling, and its effects on how problem gamblers perceive themselves have significant consequences on the wellbeing of people experiencing gambling disorder. Associated with social perception, stigma and other social perception-related features have an impact on the way problem gamblers identify themselves, seek for help, and recover. However, not all gambling types are identically perceived by the society. The present paper examines the case of the social perception of sports betting in the context of Spain. A total of 43 male sports bettors undergoing treatment for gambling disorder were interviewed within seven focus group discussions. Using a qualitative thematic analysis technique, participants reported two fundamental characteristics of sports betting social perception: (i) the absence of negative connotations associated with sports betting comparative to other gambling forms; and (ii) the presence of positive connotations that sanitised sports betting as a harmless practice. The study reports aspects such as the lack of stereotypes, the low-involvement of betting as a product, the novelty of online sports betting, the social construction of the normal bettor, and the workplace gambling normalisation as elements that could lead to an increase in gambling-related harm. This is the first study to explore the social perception of sports betting in a subgroup of problem sports bettors and suggests that policymakers should be cognizant of these perceptions in order to inform responsible gambling regulation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Gambling Studies
Creators: Lopez-Gonzalez, H., Estévez, A. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer New York
Date: 16 August 2018
ISSN: 1573-3602
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1007/s10899-018-9799-2DOI
9799Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 04 Sep 2018 12:21
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 12:24
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34409

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