Sports betting: how in-play betting features could be leading to harmful gambling – new research

With the rapid convergence of the gambling and technology spheres over recent years, sports betting has become more accessible, more customisable and more complex. Gone are the days where punters were limited to betting on the winner or loser of a match, and could only do so before the match started.

The rise of in-play sports betting now provides the public with countless betting opportunities based on the “micro-events” that occur throughout a sporting event. Such opportunities or “micro-bets” could include wagering who gets the next yellow card in a football match, or who wins the first set in a tennis match.

The websites and apps that offer in-play bets are equipped with a vast array of features that are marketed as being advantageous, informative and convenient to bettors. These include statistics boards that display real-time match and player information, an embedded live stream of the sporting event, and the ability to swiftly deposit funds into your betting account.

Despite being marketed positively, recent research indicates that these in-play betting features are comparable to those of highly addictive fixed-odds betting terminals – electronic slots or gaming machines, often referred to as “pokies”.

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