The Dangers of Combining Alcohol with Betting on Sports

Sports Gamblers at Higher Risk for Health Concerns, Study Finds

A recent study has revealed that sports gamblers are not only risking their money but also their health. Researchers from UNLV and the University of New Mexico found that individuals who engage in sports betting, esports, and daily fantasy sports are more likely to binge drink compared to those who do not gamble.

The study surveyed over 4,300 adults across the United States over three weeks in spring 2022. Among the participants, nearly 3,300 reported alcohol use in the past year, with about 1,800 identifying themselves as sports gamblers who had placed bets in the past year. Results from the study showed that sports gamblers were almost twice as likely to engage in binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks for men or four or more drinks for women in one sitting, compared to non-gamblers and gamblers who did not bet on sports.

This research builds on previous studies that have highlighted the connection between substance misuse and sports betting. Sports gamblers often use substances while gambling, and they also tend to exhibit a greater tendency towards risk-taking, which could extend to their alcohol consumption habits. The study’s co-author, Shane W. Kraus of UNLV emphasized the need for more education to raise awareness about the potential risks of heavy alcohol use among individuals who engage in sports betting.

The study titled “Binge Drinking Among Sports Gamblers” was authored by Joshua B. Grubbs of the University of New Mexico and Shane W. Kraus of UNLV and was published on April 1st 2024 in JAMA Network Open.

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