The acquisition, development and maintenance of online sports betting

Killick, E.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0576-8081, 2022. The acquisition, development and maintenance of online sports betting. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Sports betting is now the most popular online gambling activity in Europe. The growth of this industry has been attributed to technological advancements and innovations, such as betting via a smartphone and in-play betting. These new advancements have given sports bettors the facility to bet anywhere, anytime, and on hundreds, if not thousands of discrete events. Moreover, the UK has seen a significant increase in the volume of advertising for sports betting products. The growth of sports betting marketing, together with developments in technology, has resulted in concerns about the potentially negative effects of this gambling activity. Therefore, the overall aim of the research presented in this thesis was to contribute to the understanding of online sports betting, particularly in terms of the impact of newer features of online sports betting and sports betting advertising.

The aims of this thesis were addressed through four stages of research employing a mixed methods approach including a scoping study, a content analysis study (of 3,375 tweets on social media), in-depth interviews with sports bettors (n=19), and a comprehensive online survey of sports bettors (n=643). Data across the studies were analysed using thematic analysis, principal component analysis, latent class analysis, and multiple regression.

The first empirical study within this thesis was a scoping study that systematically reviewed the existing literature on in-play sports betting and quantified the prevalence of these features by examining online sports betting websites. The findings of the review indicated that in-play sports betting has the potential to be more harmful than other forms of gambling (e.g., gambling on fixed odds) because of the inherent structural characteristics.

Study 2 was a content analysis that examined how gambling operators marketed their products on Twitter. The results highlighted that Twitter serves as a platform where gambling operators market their products in a normalised and positive way. The findings also highlight that over 90% of the tweets contained no responsible gambling information.

Studies 3 and 4 were qualitative explorations of online sports betting. Study 3 explored the perceived impact of sports betting marketing. The study identified the sports betting inducements perceived to be most influential on sports betting behaviour, and highlighted the pervasive nature of sports betting advertising across multiple marketing platforms. Study 4 examined opinions and attitudes towards in-play betting and the ‘cash out’ feature. Overall, in-play sports betting was viewed favourably and easily accessible. However, the findings demonstrated that this is a way of gambling that can be played without interruption and which may lead to repetitive (i.e., continuous) gambling and/or unwarranted feelings of control.

Study 5 used latent class analysis to identify five classes of modes used to access sports betting. The results from this study suggest that participating exclusively in online sports betting is not inherently associated with problem gambling. In addition, salient motivations for online sports betting were identified using items from an adapted version of the British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS; Wardle et al., 2011),

Drawing together the findings from the previous chapters, the final empirical chapter (study 6), examined which factors might predict problem gambling among sports bettors. Predictors of problem gambling were identified and included higher motor impulsivity, motivations for sports betting, using a laptop to bet, betting at work, mixed mode betting, in-play and ‘cash out’ feature use, and sports betting advertising involvement. This thesis contributes to a greater understanding of online sports betting, and supports the contention that gambling is a multifaceted phenomenon, in which individual factors, as well as structural and situational characteristics should be considered.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Killick, E.A.
Date: July 2022
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 22 Aug 2022 08:56
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 08:56

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