The psychology of sports betting apps
The Future. While sports wagering apps can fluctuate from vendor to vendor, and even from state to state, they all satisfy our very human desires for reward and pleasure. Even better, they deliver these opportunities straight to a user’s phone for immediate gratification — no trip to the casino necessary. But with such addictive apps, online gambling has the potential to wipe players out — unless users set spending or loss limits to keep the apps low-risk and fun.
Don’t become an app’s best customer
Meredith K. Ginley, an assistant professor of psychology at East Tennessee State University, explains in Fast Company how there may be some structural aspects of sports wagering apps (beyond the rewarding nature of gambling itself) that make them particularly attractive and even riskier for some players.
- People are more likely to participate in activities that have low barriers to entry. Sports betting apps essentially load a casino onto a user’s phone.
- Features like push notifications, free play, and leaderboards can increase engagement, but they can also detach players from the money they’re spending and make it harder to close out when they’re down.
Always be earning (and learning)
There were roughly 19 million online sports bettors in the US in 2022, according to Fast Company. That number is expected to increase as more states legalize these apps.
For people who want another way to engage with their favorite sports team (and win a few extra bucks, of course), this can be a great side hobby.
But for those who are worried about their gambling, there’s always the option to set deposit, loss, and wagering limits and, in extreme cases, to block software. Stay safe.