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Sports Betting Psychology: Unraveling The Thrill And Enthusiasm


In 2022, the global sports betting industry exceeded a market size of 242 billion U.S. dollars. Reports also showed that the industry had more than 200 thousand employees in over 20,000 businesses. This figure increases by the day, which leaves one to wonder what causes the sports betting thrill and enthusiasm.


This article will explore the factors that motivate people to participate in sports betting. We’ll explore sports betting psychology and the connection between gambling addiction and sports betting. Let’s find out more.

What is Sports Betting?

Sports betting involves a range of activities, including predicting the results of a sports event and placing bets on the outcomes. Most countries today have lifted the ban on sports betting, and this has led to the rapid growth and advancement of the sports betting industry. For example, in the US, many states have legalized these industries after the federal ban was lifted in 2018. Statistics show that sports betting revenue increased from $431 million to $1,500 million between 2018 and 2020.

Despite the continuous growth of this sector, research highlights the potential for gambling problems to increase. This may also be further enhanced by the easy access and availability of online and mobile technologies, both of which help in creating unlimited wagering opportunities.

Understanding Why People Participate in Sports Betting

To fully understand sports betting psychology, it’s important to examine the factors that motivate people to bet. A 2017 survey highlights eight factors based on answers gotten from US consumers. These factors include the following:

·       The desire to deal with risks.

·       Competition with colleagues or friends

·       Ability to make the sport more interesting.

·       Thrill and excitement it brings.

·       Provision of an extra game while the main event takes place.

·       A ritual

·       Easy way to apply sports knowledge.

·       Unknown reasons

Another similar study performed on UK participants also sought to understand why people participate in sports betting. The study highlighted three key reasons, which include the following:

·       Provision for gamblers to utilize their betting knowledge and skill.

·       Increase in the intensity of the game.

·       Increase in the interest, engagement, and excitement the game offers.

Some of the reasons above reflect controlled and healthy gambling behaviors, but it’s worth noting that sports betting can cause major behavioral disruption by turning into a gambling addiction.


Sports Betting Risks

Sports betting can lead to physical, psychological, and financial consequences, eventually leading to an inability to stop or control the behavior. Here are some of the risks associated with sports betting:

Financial Problems

Sports betting can lead to the accumulation of debts, and with that, an individual becomes unable to cover their outgoings. In extreme cases, people lead to engaging in crimes to fund their betting habit, and some people eventually go bankrupt. To learn more about responsible betting and managing risks, you can visit

Relationship Breakdown

Sports betting can cause people to distance themselves, and this can cause destruction in many relationships. The addiction can cause people to even lie to their loved ones.

Work Issues

The habit has ruined the careers of many due to a rapid reduction in their performance. In some cases, bettors become persistently absent at work or even gambling at work. All of this can eventually consume the life of the person.

Poor Physical Health

The health of people with betting addiction is also affected, and this is mostly due to lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, and insufficient sleep. Sports betting, in extreme cases, can take much of your time and further affect your physical health.

Mental Health Problems

Another aspect that is affected in extreme cases is the mental health and well-being of a bettor. Sports betting can trigger anxiety and stress, especially when debts start to accrue.

Sports Betting Addiction: What Are the Symptoms?

People with gambling addiction usually try as much as possible to hide it, but there are many signs that still show that they have unhealthy behavior. These signs include the following:

·       Increase in tolerance and the need to gamble more for the thrill and excitement.

·       High preoccupation with sports betting

·       Chasing losses

·       High disruption in education, finances, or work.

·       Feeling irritable or restless when not betting

·       Hiding betting activities from friends and loved ones.

Sports betting or gambling addiction can become worse with time, which is why it’s important to act as fast as possible. There are many ways to get help for people with sports betting addiction. The first thing to do is to identify the problem. This can be done by talking to a relative, counselor, or friend about the problem. Setting a control on spending and embracing every approach to avoid the temptations of gambling excessively are also approaches to take. Even though most online gambling platforms are available 24/7, it doesn’t mean you should gamble 24/7. AL of these are strategies that will help you avoid developing a sports betting addiction while you still enjoy the thrill and enthusiasm.

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