The Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Sports Betting: Double Trouble

Sports gambling is a growing trend in the United States, and a recent study has shed light on its connection to binge drinking. Researchers from UNLV and the University of New Mexico surveyed over 4,300 adults across the country during a three-week period in spring 2022. The findings of the study are alarming, as nearly 3,300 participants reported past year alcohol use and about 1,800 identified as sports gamblers who had bet on sporting events in the past year.

The study found that sports gamblers were 1.9 times more likely to report binge drinking than non-gamblers and those who did not bet on sports. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women at a single time. This study adds to existing research that shows a link between substance misuse and sports betting, suggesting that risky gambling behaviors may also lead to risky alcohol consumption.

Study co-author Shane W. Kraus, a professor of psychology and director of the UNLV Behavioral Addictions Lab, emphasized the need for more education to inform people about the potential risks of heavy alcohol use while participating in sports betting. The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open on April 1, 2024, raising concerns about the impact of this behavior on public health. It is essential to raise awareness about these risks and promote responsible gambling practices to prevent further harm.

By Samantha Johnson

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