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Cognitive distortions and pathological tendencies in sports betting

journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-08, 11:48 authored by YXP Phua, Do Young PyunDo Young Pyun, HK Leng
Sports betting is an activity that has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. The integrative nature of sport betting in marketing mediums and the advent of modern technology makes sport betting a dangerous activity in comparison to other forms of gambling. This study aimed to compare differences in cognitions between sport and non-sport gamblers. 713 respondents were recruited, of which there were 80 sport bettors, 270 non-sport bettors, and 363 non gamblers. Cognitive distortions were measured using the gamblers belief’s questionnaire, that comprises 2 factors: Luck/perseverance, and illusion of control. The results of a between?groups MANOVA showed that sport bettors recorded higher scores for Luck/Perseverance (M = 35.27, SD = 13.63) than non-gamblers (M = 17.60, SD = 8.20, p < .001) and non-sport gamblers (M = 27.19, SD = 11.81, p < .001). Sports gamblerss also recorded higher illusion of control scores (M = 25.48, SD = 8.81) when compared to both non-gamblers (M = 13.46, SD = 6.50, p < .001) and non-sport gamblers (M = 19.76, SD = 7.91), p< .001. Problem gambling was measured using the South Oaks Gambling Screen. A one-way ANOVA between three groups showed sports gambler scores (M = 3.45, SD = 3.29) were higher than that of non-sport gamblers (M=1.62, SD = 2.30), and non-gamblers (M = 0.29, SD = 0.96), p < .001. These findings suggest that gamblers should not be treated as a homogenous group, and greater attention should be placed on sports gamblers in prevention and treatment efforts



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Gambling Issues


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto)

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the definitive published version is available at

Acceptance date





  • en


Dr Doyoung Pyun. Deposit date: 7 February 2022

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