Microbets and Online Gambling Addiction
May 13, 2023
What are Microbets? And are they contributing to online sports betting problems? Our research will reveal their hidden participation in causing online gambling and sports betting addiction.
Microbets and Their Contribution to the Rise of Online Gambling Addiction
Since the legalization of sports betting in 2018, sports betting has become significantly popular and accessible through online platforms. Especially among younger demographics of gamblers, such as those aged 18 - 30 years old, online sports betting has exponentially increased over the past five years. Alongside this trend where users are able to bet on wins, losses, and the performance of individual players, a type of event wagering called microbets has emerged as a new form of sports betting that allows players to bet on small outcomes within a game, such as who will score the next goal or win the next set. While microbets may seem harmless and merely another tool in the arsenal of large gaming companies, some experts argue that they could be contributing to a rise in online gambling addiction and online sports betting addiction. But what are microbets, why have they become popular, and are they actually causing a sports betting problem?
Microbets and Their Harmful Effects on Online Gamblers and Online Sports Bettors
Microbets are a type of sports betting that involve placing wagers on small outcomes within a game or match. The expected event outcomes range from who will score the next goal or point to what type of pitch a baseball player may throw next to which team will win the next set. Unlike traditional sports betting, where players place bets on the overall outcome of a game or match, microbets allow players to place smaller bets on multiple outcomes throughout the game.
Microbets have an increase in popularity in recent years, particularly with the rise of online sports betting platforms that have increased access to sports betting for all generations. These online sports betting companies have created platforms that have made it easier for online sports bettors to place bets and have enabled the creation of new types of bets, such as microbets. A central reason for the rise in microbets is the accessibility of online betting platforms, now anyone with a phone is able to bet live. With just a few clicks, players can place bets on multiple outcomes within a game, without ever having to leave their homes. This convenience has made sports betting more appealing to a wider audience, including younger adults who are more tech-savvy, but also may be more at risk compared to traditional in-person gamblers.
Another reason for the proliferation of microbets in the platform of large gambling companies is the potential for increased profits. While traditional sports betting requires players to place large bets on the outcome of a game or match, microbets allow players to place smaller bets on multiple outcomes. As players increase the frequency of their bets, amount of money often follows and this combination of wagering can lead to a higher frequency of wins and losses, in turn creating a sense of excitement and anticipation for players. While microbets may seem like harmless fun, some experts argue that they could be contributing to a rise in online sports betting addiction for younger generations.
Increases in Microbets and Their Contribution to Online Sports Betting Addiction
Microbets can increase the risk of gambling addiction because they allow players to place small bets frequently throughout a game or match. This frequent betting can create a sense of excitement and anticipation, which can be addictive for younger individuals, particularly those at risk or who have not been properly forewarned of potential impacts of gambling addiction behaviors. Additionally due to the small financial size of each new sports bet, a false sense of security may be created in some sports bettors, leading them to believe that they are not risking much money. However, when these small bets are added up over time, they can result in significant losses.
For individuals who are already prone to gambling addiction behaviors or have struggled with problem gambling previously, microbets can be particularly dangerous. The access and frequency of this variety of online sports betting can result in individuals finding it difficult to control their impulses and potentially becoming consumed by the excitement of placing small bets frequently.
Microbets can also lead to an increase in spending because they encourage players to place bets frequently. This can be particularly dangerous for individuals who are unaware of their financial restrictions, are on a limited budget, or who have a behavioral tendency to overspend. Moreover, the small size of the bets can create a false sense of security, leading players to believe that they are not risking much money. However, when these small bets are added up over time, they can result in significant losses.
Potential Risks and Solutions to Microbets Effect on Online Sports Betting Addiction
Given the potential risks associated with microbets particularly among the younger generation of line sports bettors, it is important to consider solutions that can help mitigate their effects.
A potential solution floated by legislators nationally is for the government to regulate the use of microbets. While this could could involve setting limits on the size and frequency of microbets as well as requiring sports betting platforms to provide information on the potential risks associated with microbets, gambling and gaming companies as well as online sports betting platforms have reacted adversely to this due to the financial implications to their revenue.
Another potential solution is to increase education and awareness around the potential risks of microbets. This could involve multiple instances of education and prevention around the gambling aspects of microbetting for online sports bettors. Proposals include flagging the risks associated with microbets to online sports bettors from the moment they log into online gambling platforms, as well as offering resources and support for individuals who may be struggling with gambling addiction. Sports betting platforms could play a major role in increasing awareness around the potential risks of microbets. For example, they could include warnings about the risks associated with microbets on their websites or in their mobile apps, and provide links to resources and support for individuals who may be struggling with gambling addiction.
Ultimately, it is important to recognize the potential risks associated with microbets and take steps to mitigate those risks. In the foreseeable future, as the addictive effects of microbets and online sports betting continue to be revealed, sports betting platforms, individuals, and governments will ideally band together to ensure that sports betting remains a safe and enjoyable activity for all.
How Regulated Should Online Sports Betting Platforms Actually Be?
As we continue to discuss, Birches Health believes that sports betting platforms have a responsibility to ensure that their users are engaged in safe and responsible gambling practices. They can play an important role in addressing the potential risks associated with microbets and gambling addiction for continuously younger generations of online sports bettors.
One way that sports betting platforms can address microbets and gambling addiction is by implementing responsible gambling measures and actively creating mechanics to prevent gambling addiction and online sports betting addiction. This could include setting deposit limits, time limits, or betting limits for users, as well as offering self-exclusion programs that allow users to voluntarily exclude themselves from the platform for a period of time. Sports betting platforms could also consider implementing features that promote responsible gambling, such as providing players with tools to track their betting behavior or offering education and support resources. Online sports betting platforms can help users better understand the risks associated with microbets and gambling addiction, and provide at risk individuals and those impacted by their sports betting addiction behavior with the resources needed to make informed decisions about their gambling behavior.
Do You Think You Are Addicted to Online Sports Betting?
If you or a loved one is asking yourself "Am I Addicted to Online Sports Betting?" it is worth speaking with a gambling specialist or taking a problem gambling screen immediately. While there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the risks associated with microbets and gambling addiction, fundamentally gambling addiction is a serious condition that may require professional treatment from a licensed counselor. Individuals who are struggling with gambling addiction should seek help from a qualified mental health professional or addiction specialist. Gambling Addiction treatment may include individual or group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of these approaches.
In addition, support groups can provide individuals with a supportive community of peers who are also struggling with gambling addiction. These groups can offer a safe space to share experiences, receive support, and gain valuable insight into the recovery process. To better understand if finding a gambling addiction support group may be helpful for you, take a problem gambling assessment to better understand your gambling behavior and if you may be at risk of becoming addicted to online sports betting.
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