The following information is provided courtesy of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling.
Sports gambling and wagering refer to betting on the outcome of a contest. These events can include sports lotteries and head-to-head sports betting as well as pastimes such as hockey drafts and fantasy leagues. (Sociology of Sport Journal, 1990, 7, 271-286)
“Gambling is a game of chance.” Though this statement is simple to read, it is very difficult for some to understand and accept. Problem gamblers often believe that they have the power to influence their gambling outcomes. While they may feel this way about any form of gambling, they are likely to believe this even more strongly about sports-betting.
Gamblers who regularly make sports wagers will “study” topics such as a team’s chemistry, the athletic ability of a player, and past outcomes of sporting events, to assist them in making their choice of what to bet. Even with this information, however, there will always be some element of “chance” that will ultimately determine the final outcome of the game.
Sports Gambling Facts
- The National Gambling Impact Study Commission reported in 1999 that between $80 billion to $380 billion is illegally wagered each year on sports. http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/reports/2.pdf
- Because of the consistency and expectations of professional athletes, the majority of sports betting are wagered on professional sports. However, it has been found that more than $2.3 billion was wagered on sports in the United States in 1999 and between 30 to 40 percent of that were bets on college athletics, primarily football and basketball (Blaudschun, Mark Viva Las Vegas: Legal gambling isn’t the problem 5/01/2000, Vol. 224 Issue 18, p51).
- Legal sports book operations in Nevada increased from 9 outlets in 1974, when the activity was introduced, to over 60 locations a decade later. Gaming and Wagering Business magazine (Christiansen E.M. 1989)
- By 1999, only 26% of Americans believed that betting on sports events should be illegal (Carey, A.R., & Bryant, W. 1999, March 12 Sports gambling a winner. USA Today, p. 1c.)
- Nevada prohibits the placing of wagers on teams from within the state in an attempt to avoid any hint of impropriety when Nevada teams are included and to protect the integrity of contests involving such teams. (National Gambling Impact Study Commission. 1999b. Final report. Washington, DC 1999 http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/)
Problem Gamblers Helpline – 1-800-522-4700
Check out these Sports Gambling Facts and Statistics.
Materials used with permission. 2007 Nevada Council on Problem Gambling. www.nevadacouncil.org
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