Betting and Sports Culture: The Unseen Connection

Smart phones have greatly simplified sports betting practices. “Previously, most bets could only be placed through TAB shops or the internet,” explained Tony Phillips of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

As a result, gambling companies have seamlessly adopted and integrated sports culture into betting culture without many people even realizing it – an intriguing phenomenon worthy of investigation.


DAVIES: Sports betting has revolutionized fan experiences beyond financial considerations. It has expanded knowledge and understanding of their favorite games, fostered social connections among fellow fans, and provided new avenues of excitement and entertainment. Eric Lipton is an investigative reporter for The New York Times who will join us to share insight into this discussion. His team has documented the explosive rise of sports gambling in America, from lobbying and court battles that preceded it to partnerships between betting operators and sports leagues and universities as well as impacts on problem gamblers and Native American tribes.

New Zealanders have an extraordinary passion for sport, from rugby and cricket to football and netball. More recently, sports betting has become an integral part of Kiwi culture; thanks to online sportsbooks it is easier than ever for Kiwis to place wagers from the comfort of their own homes. Sports betting helps build community as people come together around discussions, debates and friendly competition revolving around betting and sport; teams often embrace it because it provides fans with financial incentive for remaining engaged throughout games.


Betting provides fans with a new way of engaging with their favorite teams, giving them more access than debating or watching games alone. Betting allows fans to place personal stakes in how their teams perform and fosters camaraderie while strengthening fandom passion.

Sports betting has added an exhilarating new element to how sports fans interact with their favorite teams and games, giving fans more reasons than ever before to engage in betting activities. Now an essential component of fan experience, leagues and stadiums often incorporate odds into broadcasts, broadcast them as advertisements in ballparks, or incorporate discussion on these odds into analysis of each play.

Americans have quickly taken to this new form of sports engagement, with nearly half reporting placing bets in the past year on various games or events. Men were significantly more likely to place bets, as were people aged 50+ years with college degrees or higher incomes.

With the rise of legal sportsbooks available to Americans, sports betting operators should carefully evaluate how their brand presence can be leveraged within this environment. Unfortunately, most online sportsbooks fail to take full advantage of social elements; most don’t allow users to choose which legal book their friends use; thus restricting players from bet on teams together and increasing the social nature of sports betting.


Today, sports betting has evolved beyond being just an activity to place bets on games; it also serves as a form of social engagement and camaraderie between fans. The competitive nature of betting encourages fans to discuss teams and athletes while sparking friendly rivalries among friends, coworkers and strangers alike.

Sports betting culture has provided fans with new forms of fan engagement, such as fantasy sports. Through this engagement fans create virtual teams and compete against either friends or complete strangers in leagues against them; creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and teamwork while giving fans more direct interaction with the players they cheer for.

Sports betting companies use various incentives to attract users and get them started betting, such as offering free bets. These inducements have proven especially successful at drawing young men in, as many have been exposed to gambling marketing that normalises betting.

Young Australians have adopted sports betting as an integral component of their viewing experience and its presence is now seen as part of sports culture. Sports betting enables them to engage with their favorite teams and athletes more deeply than was possible when Facebook was known only by its initial moniker (“The Facebook”), loot boxes were still relatively unknown video games, and Candy Crush hadn’t taken off yet.


Be it sports betting or fantasy game wagers, the practice of wagering has an integral social aspect. People gather in sports bars and workplaces to discuss betting strategy, debate outcomes, and engage in friendly competition. Sports betting enables people to form cross-cultural bonds while creating an environment of community and camaraderie. People also participate in March Madness and Super Bowl bracket pools alongside colleagues; often prioritizing socialization over money prizes is what draws people towards betting on these contests.

There are concerns that gambling in sports could pose a threat to social and psychological wellbeing and could promote unhealthy gambling behaviors. Research with young men indicates that marketing for betting products has had a substantial effect on their betting identities, further normalising it within sports, and therefore necessitating effective regulations to minimize gambling harm. This finding has implications for effective gambling harm minimisation measures. Particular forms of promotions like inducements appear to play an outsized role in driving risky betting consumption, so regulatory action must focus on these specific forms. Furthermore, links between gambling operators and sporting clubs should be discouraged or regulated to minimize their influence over sport; dedicated education campaigns targeting gambling could provide another potential policy response that reduces its effects and the chances of people becoming addicted to gambling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *