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Frontiers in Psychiatry



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Internationally, Internet gambling is increasingly permitted under regulated licensing conditions; however, the specific products that are legal varies between jurisdictions. Online sports and race wagering are now legal in many jurisdictions, but in-play betting (also referred to as "live action" or "in-the-run" betting) is often restricted. In-play betting enables bets to be placed on an event after it has commenced. Prohibitionist policies often cite the potential for this type of betting to increase risk of gambling problems. This study aimed to identify which online bettors are most likely to engage in in-play betting, and to investigate the relationship between in-play betting and gambling problems. Online survey responses were collected from 501 Australian past-month online sports bettors in the context of in-play betting only being available on offshore gambling sites or via telephone betting. Thirty-four percent of participants had placed a bet in-play in the past month. Participants placing in-play bets differed from those who had not in terms of education, employment status, ethnicity, age, and gambling involvement. Those who bet in-play had higher problem gambling severity scores than those who did not bet in-play. Problem gambling severity significantly predicting in-play betting, holding other variables constant. Findings are consistent with previous research indicating that the relationship between in-play gambling and problems holds across jurisdictions which have prohibited and legalized in-play betting. The findings suggest that in-play betting should warrant specific regulatory attention and interventions to minimize gambling harms among individuals that engage with this activity.


In-play betting; Live action betting; Regulation; Online gambling; Internet gambling; Problem gambling; Disordered gambling; Gambling addiction


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Substance Abuse and Addiction

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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