ICRG-funded Research Finds Higher Rate of Binge Drinking Among Sports Gamblers

BEVERLY, MASS. — March 29, 2023—The International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) proudly announces the publication of an important study from the first national survey of sports wagering in the prestigious journal, JAMA Network Open. Led by Dr. Joshua Grubbs of the University of New Mexico, this project has found higher rates of alcohol use and binge drinkers among sports bettors.

Background and Findings: The research was supported by the Sports Wagering Research Fund of the ICRG, which includes donations from the American Gaming Association, MGM Resorts International, DraftKings, Caesars Entertainment, Entain, NASCAR, Hard Rock International, the PGA, and IGT. “We are immensely grateful for the support from our partners, which enables us to pursue research that makes a meaningful difference,” said ICRG President Art Paikowsky.

Dr. Joshua Grubbs, the principal investigator, notes, “The general patterns we’ve observed indicate that individuals who bet online or via apps engage in riskier behaviors. A key area we are yet to explore is whether those betting on their phones consume more alcohol than those betting in-person at sportsbooks or through gambling kiosks.”

Impact and Applications: This study underscores the urgent need for targeted public health interventions and informed regulatory policies to mitigate the risks associated with sports betting and alcohol consumption. “Our research highlights a troubling trend of excessive alcohol use among sports bettors,” explained Dr. Grubbs. “We must use these insights to formulate effective strategies that promote responsible gaming and alcohol consumption.”

ICRG’s Role and Future Directions: As a leader in research on gambling disorder and responsible gambling, the ICRG is committed to supporting investigations that will be the foundation for the development of effective, evidence-based policies and programs.

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About ICRG

The ICRG, founded in 1996, is a global leader in research and education on gambling disorder. The ICRG remains the only funding source for scientific, peer-reviewed research in these areas. ICRG-funded research has yielded more than 500 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. For more information, visit www.icrg.org.

Media Contact

Nicole Scott, Director of Tribal Nations Relations and Communication
Email: nscott@icrg.org 
Phone: 858-729-8579
900 Cummings Center, suite 219-U
Beverly, MA 01915