The new social media betting epidemic

28th April 2023

Featured Image by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

Sports betting and gambling have been around for a long time, but there has been a substantial increase in the number of young people who participate in these activities in recent years, with 31% of 11 to 16 year olds spending their own money on any gambling activity according to the gambling commissions survey in 2022

This trend has attracted the interest of many individuals, including parents, educators, and government authorities. In this article, we will look at the causes for the rise in young people's engagement in sports betting and gambling, as well as the possible hazards and solutions.

The broad availability of online gambling and sports betting platforms is one explanation for the increase in young people's engagement in sports betting and gambling. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, it is now simpler than ever to place a bet or play a game of chance from any location and at any time. Many of these online platforms supply enticing bonuses and promotions that appeal to young people looking for quick money. Due to the convenience and accessibility of these platforms, young people are more likely to engage in these activities, even if they are not legally permitted to do so.

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Apps like bet365 aim to attract and keep consumers by employing a range of tactics. These apps and websites encourage young people to wager in a variety of ways, including:

Appealing design and user experience

Many sports betting websites are aesthetically appealing and straightforward to use, with simple navigation. This can make them more appealing to young users, who may prefer applications that seem current and smart.

Attractive promotions and incentives

To attract new clients and keep existing ones, sports betting apps frequently provide promotions and bonuses. These may include free bets, cashback deals, and other incentives. Young people may be especially tempted to these offers because they provide an opportunity to win money or other rewards without putting their own money at risk.

In-app messaging and alerts

To keep users interested and up-to-date about new promotions and betting chances, many sports betting applications employ in-app messaging and notifications. Young people, who are more receptive to mobile devices than older age groups, may be more inclined to respond to these notifications.

Integration with social media

Some sports betting applications allow users to post their bets and winnings on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. This can provide other young people with a sense of social approval and motivate them to participate in these activities.

Live streaming and in-play betting

Many sports betting apps provide live streaming of games and matches, as well as the ability to bet during the event. This might be especially appealing to young people who appreciate the thrill of live sports and want to be a part of the action.

Overall, sports betting applications like bet365 entice young people to bet through a combination of design, bonuses, messaging, and social media integration. While these apps can be entertaining and engaging, it is critical that young people understand the risks and dangers of sports betting and gambling. Parents, schools, and government officials can all have a vital role in teaching children about these concerns and preventing compulsive gambling.

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Another factor contributing to the rise in young people's involvement in sports betting and gambling is the normalisation of these activities in popular culture. Many major sports leagues have formed partnerships with gambling businesses, and many celebrities and social media influencers encourage these activities.

Sports betting and gambling now appear to be an appealing and exciting way to engage in the world of sports and entertainment. This normalisation, however, can lead to young people underestimating the possible hazards and dangers involved with these activities.

Addiction is one of the possible risks of sports betting and gambling. Gambling addiction is a significant issue that can result in financial loss, problems with relationships, and other negative effects.

Youth are especially prone to addiction since their brains are still growing and they may not fully appreciate the hazards associated with these behaviours. Also, the availability of online gambling and sports betting platforms makes it easier for young people to develop a gambling addiction because they can do so from the comfort of their own homes.

Another possible risk of sports betting and gambling is the chance of fraud and manipulation. This is due to most of these platforms being online, which means there is a risk of fraudulent activity and other illicit conduct.

Young people may be especially vulnerable to these sorts of operations because they lack the knowledge and experience required to recognise fraudulent or exploitative behaviour. This might result in financial losses and other unwelcome repercussions.

To address these challenges, it is critical to take actions to discourage young people from engaging in sports betting and gambling. One strategy is to raise public knowledge of the risks and consequences associated with these behaviours. Parents, schools, and government authorities could all work together to teach children about the dangers of addiction, fraud, and other undesirable repercussions of sports betting and gambling. Public awareness campaigns, school-based education programmes, and other activities could all be included.

Another solution is to more effectively control online gambling and sports betting platforms. Governments can collaborate to develop regulatory frameworks that safeguard consumers from deceptive and exploitative methods. This can include requirements for openness and accountability, as well as safeguards to keep minors out of these activities.

A 23-year-old student  has struggled due to the pressures of betting and has landed himself in a lot of debt. After joining a social media betting group chat, which turned out to be a pyramid scheme scam, he has left himself with nothing after staking almost every penny he had coming in on what seemed like fun at first.

“It started as a fun way to pass the time, but now I can't seem to stop. I keep telling myself I'll just bet a little bit more, and then I'll quit, but it never happens.


I feel like I'm trapped in a cycle of winning and losing. Even when I win, I don't feel satisfied and want to keep going even if results do not go in my favour."

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He admits to losing more money than he can afford, but he says the thrill to keep chasing that next win and the rush of adrenaline is addictive.

The increased engagement of young people in sports betting and gambling is a serious development that deserves attention and action. This trend is fuelled by the availability of online gambling and sports betting platforms, the normalisation of these activities in popular culture, and the associated hazards of addiction and fraud.

We can assist to address these challenges and protect young people from the potential hazards and perils of sports betting and gambling by raising public awareness, regulating online platforms, and taking other actions to prevent young people from partaking in these activities.