Half of Ontario’s sports bettors plan to wager on this Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Responsible Gambling Council (RCC).
With that level of betting interest in the game, having a plan to manage risk is a key to enjoying the game, said the CEO of RCC, Shelley White.
“The excitement of the big game, being with friends and family, and substance use can all influence how we play,” White said. “And betting more than one can afford to lose can have a devastating impact.”
The survey found that 49 percent of Ontarians plan to bet on the big game, with four in 10 (39 percent) believing their sports knowledge gives them an edge when it comes to predicting outcomes. That jumps to three-quarters (73 percent) of those who bet, and nine in 10 (91 percent) of those who bet on sports regularly.
The RCC says that belief, commonly false, can increase risk. It can lead to over-confidence and people betting more than they can afford to lose. On top of that, additional risk comes with consumption of substances like alcohol, which can impair judgement and decision-making (77 percent plan to consume alcohol, cannabis, or other substances during the game).
Seventy-four percent of respondents said they will watch the game at home, 53 percent with friends or family. Those who bet say they tend to bet more than usual around friends and family (47 percent), especially if they’re younger (59 percent of those aged 18-34). Twenty-five percent said they have felt the need to bet more to get to the same level of excitement and 24 percent said they have bet more than they could afford to lose.
However, the survey also said 88 percent of this Super Bowl’s bettors plan to use at least one strategy to manage their gambling risk; 38 percent will stay within a pre-set betting limit, 24 percent will commit to never betting while intoxicated, and 21 percent will commit to not betting if they feel depressed or anxious.
Six-in-ten (63 percent) sports bettors have used at least one responsible-gambling feature on sportsbook websites. Among younger players, a fifth (22 percent aged 18-34) utilize personalized spending reports (win/loss information, time and money spent) to curb their risk.
“It’s positive to see the majority of Ontario’s sports bettors using the extra bench strength of responsible gambling tools, both on and offline,” White added.
The online survey of 1,001 Ontario residents aged 18+ was completed in early January using Leger’s online panel.
Other highlights: 54 percent will place a single bet on the outcome of the game and 24 percent are betting on each outcome of the game through multiple sportsbooks. Fifty-four percent say they will bet $50 or less, 26 percent will bet between $50 and $100, and 19 percent will bet $100 or more.