Sports fans in Australia have been familiar with a specific form of gambling called micro bets. Unfortunately, some of them have been also aware of the problems they cause.
For some time now, this type of bets on small live sports events have been associated with sporting corruption, with people close to such incidents saying that large profits can be generated in betting markets, as players place their bet in a pre-determined point in play.
The Conversation wrote that it has managed to find evidence that over one-third of regular punters in Australia use the services of online gambling operators to place micro bets. What is worse, a close link is considered to be existing between this type of betting and problem gambling. The findings emerged as legislators not only in Australia but in other countries and regions have been put under pressure to make sports betting accessible for more people.
For the time being, micro bets are technically legal for operators that offer gambling services with a license issued by competent Australian regulators. However, micro-betting has not been approved by local sporting bodies mainly because it has been difficult for them to come up with a policy that would take care of the integrity of their sport, especially considering the known instances of corruption associated with micro-betting.
Australian People Are Very Keen on Micro Bets
For some time now, there have been anti-gambling campaigners calling for a ban to be imposed on micro-betting. Still, Australian people continue using many offshore operators to place a micro bet.
The latest paper on the matter, which was published online in the Journal of Gambling Studies at the beginning of the month, revealed that 36.8% of the 1,813 regular punters who had been interviewed had placed a micro bet in the past 12 months. The percentage represents 667 of the bettors who took part in the study. Even more worrying is the fact that 78% of these people were categorized as problem gamblers.
It was only 5% of the people who placed micro bets who were described as non-problem gamblers, as the rest were considered to be put at some risk of developing gambling-related problems.
The study recruited a large number of regular punters on purpose, which led to a higher representation of problem gamblers as part of the sample of 1,813 (almost 47%).
The so-called micro bets are a specific category of in-play betting which gives players with access to bets featuring certain characteristics and circumstances. Micro bets can be placed on particular events which occur during a game or a session of a match. The betting opportunity is repetitive and usually features a higher frequency, while a bet is placed on one or a restricted number of possible outcomes. Another very specific feature of micro bets is the time, which in this case is very short, usually less than five minutes.
Micro-Betting Could Be Dangerous to Punters’ Health
As mentioned above, micro bets are characterized with the short time in which the wager must be placed, which makes the betting process impulsive. This has been one of the main reasons why micro bets are considered an impulsive, thus dangerous, form of betting.
The situation is even harder for problem gamblers, considering the fact that sports betting is generally increasing every year. People are literally “bombarded” with a massive number of gambling adverts calling them to place a micro bet. Taking into account the fact that sports betting is pretty common in Australia, this kind of emotional, impulsive and fast form of betting is even more dangerous for local people, with more of them getting addicted to that form of gambling on an annual basis.
Betting on micro events could be quite dangerous for more vulnerable people who are susceptible to gambling ads. Several reviews of gambling regulation in Australia have called this form of gambling continuous and impulsive and have urged local legislators to outlaw it.