University of Bath

Help us study the growth of online sports gambling in the UK

We are looking for male volunteers for a new study to understand the use of mobile app technologies in online sports gambling.

Man uses mobile to place bet on a sports gambling app
The study will focus on the experiences and perceptions of young adult male users of online sports gambling technologies and any health implications

Online sports gambling has become an integral part of male youth culture across the UK. Fuelled by advances in smartphone technology and the popularity of digital leisure forms, the growth of online sports gambling has given rise to a global industry promoting gambling as a skilful, risk-free social activity for young adult males.

Through this study, we are looking to better understand the experiences and perceptions of young adult male users of online sports gambling technologies and to examine in detail the impacts of such practices on health in its broadest sense.

Take part

To be eligible for this study you must be:

  • male
  • aged between 18 and 35 years old
  • identify as an active user of online sports gambling (having downloaded mobile betting apps and having placed at least one bet per week for the last three months)
  • available to commit to three data collection phases spread over a three-month period
  • not currently under clinical treatment for addiction, anxiety or depression

What's involved

The study consists of three phases for each participant.

Phase 1

You will initally be invited to participate in an informal focus group. This will discuss the growth of online sports gambling in recent decades, the impact of mobile app technologies in driving such growth, and the wide ranging impacts it has had on the increased popularity of sports gambling among young adult males in the UK.

Phase 2

At the conclusion of the focus group, you will be invited to participate in Phase 2 of the project which involves you recording a daily gambling diary over a period of 30 days. These diary records are intended to capture a detailed insight into individual gambling behaviours, and will record details like:

  • number of active bets
  • time spent gambling
  • intended and actual expenditure
  • location (home, work, university, pub, or other)
  • social context (alone, with friends, with family, or other)
  • an optional personal reflection on the above information

Phase 3

After finishing the 30 days gambling diary, you will take part in a one-to-one interview in order to reflect on your personal experiences of online sports gambling, and the perceived impacts of such practices, both personally and on the broader adult male population in the UK.

What you'll get

Eligible participants who complete all three phases of the study will receive:

  • reimbursement for local travel expenses of up to £10 for focus group participation
  • £20 Amazon gift card for completing Phases 1 and 2

To take part, email Darragh d.mcgee@bath.ac.uk

More about the study

Dr Darragh McGee, who is leading the research, explained: "Despite the vast increase in the popularity of online sports gambling among young adult males in the past decade, we know relatively little about how recent advances in mobile app technologies are reshaping young people’s relationship with sport and gambling, nor about the gendered health impacts of such participation. This study is an exciting first step towards such new forms of social scientific understanding."

This project is funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme grant.