Navigation Links
It's a sure thing: Knowledge of the game is not an advantage in sports gambling

Psychologists have traditionally characterized compulsive gambling as an "impulse control disorder," and treated it by addressing the patient's obsessive tendencies. But according to Prof. Pinhas Dannon of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Beer Yaakov Mental Health Center, not all pathological gamblers fit the same profile.

Though gambling is typically associated with casino games, strategic sports betting is rapidly gaining in popularity and that's a whole other ball game, Prof. Dannon explains. "Sports gamblers seem to believes themselves the cleverest of all gamblers. They think that with experience and knowledge such as player's statistics, manager's habits, weather conditions, and stadium capacity they can predict the outcome of a game better than the average person."

But in a study published in the journal Psychopathology, Prof. Dannon and Dr. Ronen Huberfeld of the Beer Yaakov Mental Health Center determined that neither betting experience nor knowledge of the arcane details of the game is connected to successful betting outcomes. Indeed, he says, the two most successful gamblers in their study had no prior experience in gambling or knowledge of the sport in question.

These results indicate that sports gamblers are operating under an illusion of control and power unrelated to real-life outcomes, says Prof. Dannon. This should inform how psychologists approach sports gamblers, who need to be treated using different methods than their casino-addicted counterparts.

No predictor of success

For their study, the researchers focused on the field of soccer betting, one of the most popular and growing forms of sports gambling. They recruited three groups of participants, including 53 professional sports gamblers, 34 soccer fans who were knowledgeable about the sport but had never gambled, and finally, 78 non-gamblers with no prior knowledge of soccer at all.

All participants were asked to place bets on the final scores of the 16 second-round matches of the Champion's League, organized by the Union of European Football Associations. This model mimics how gamblers actually put their money on the games, where they need to bet on exact scores to win.

Although those who had prior knowledge of soccer were expected to have a higher success rate, the researchers discovered that, in fact, their success rate was no better than those of the other two groups. Interestingly, the two participants with the most successful record, correctly betting on seven out of the 16 games each, hailed from the group with no prior understanding of the sport.

This doesn't indicate that there is an advantage to inexperience, says Prof. Dannon many others in the third group were unable to predict any of the results correctly. But the outcome exposes the myth of knowledge as a powerful betting advantage. The sense of control that encourages sports gamblers in their betting is just an illusion.

Addressing different addiction profiles

Because psychologists often place all gamblers in the same category, sports gamblers typically receive a standardized treatment. But these methods won't help sports gamblers overcome their addiction, warns Prof. Dannon. Instead, sports gamblers need cognitive therapy that retrains their thinking habits and rids them of the illusion of control.

"Casino gamblers are more appropriately characterized as obsessives because they have less belief in themselves, and know that they will lose sooner or later. But they gamble anyway because they feel they need to," he says. In contrast, sports gamblers believe that they can control the outcome. These different addiction profiles ultimately necessitate different treatment strategies.


Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Related medicine news :

1. Most Parents Think Social Media Not a Bad Thing: Survey
2. Pre-test genetic counseling increases cancer knowledge for BRCA patients
3. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University promotes knowledge enterprises through MAKE Award
4. The HearStrong Foundation Launches Nationwide to Acknowledge the Accomplishments of Those with Hearing Loss
5. to Launch Online Knowledge Center
6. Racial Gap Persists in Womens Heart Health Knowledge: Survey
7. Three Leading Telecommunications and Technology Organizations Sponsor the AG Bell Listening and Spoken Language Knowledge Center
8. Studies advance knowledge of HIV impact on hepatitis C infection and genes that may thwart HCV
9. Passages Malibu Acknowledges the Growing Popularity of “Molly” Among Teens
10. Can Genital Herpes Spread in the Body? polyDNA Surveys the Public Knowledge
11. Cabazitaxel can offer an advantage in certain patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today that ... (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ERP ... partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing commitment ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to announce ... (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to ... of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., ... the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 ... brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Ashburn, VA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers ... range of cruise, destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., the first ... annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by the International ... November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a retail ... outcomes for patients suffering from chronic pain, said today ... Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally ... --> --> The ... its legal options. --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 On Tuesday, November ... bellwether trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for ... Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 million ... two week trial and three days of deliberations, ... device was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the ... to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will ... the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings ... of open solutions designed to help any practice or ... here for a schedule of experts appearing at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: