Cognitions des parieurs sportifs

Authors: Mercier, Jonathan
Advisor: Giroux, IsabelleSévigny, Serge
Abstract: Sports betting is the second most frequently form of gambling, after video lottery terminals (VLTs), associated with pathological gambling (PG; Williams et al., 2002). However, little is known about the profile of sports bettors and their cognitions. So far, gambling studies have mainly been conducted with pure chance gamblers. Consequently, skills game gamblers are often evaluated with tools that have not been adapted to the structural characteristics of these games. Considering the frequent associations between gamblers’ cognitions and PG, acquiring further knowledge about the links between sports bettors’ cognitions and their gambling behaviors is essential. Hence, this thesis aims to explore sports bettor’s characteristics and to document the risk factors specific to this form of gambling activity, including their cognitions. The first study of this thesis is a systematic review of studies published between 1980 and 2014 that included a sample of sports bettors. It aims to document their gambling habits, their cognitions, as well as data from studies that aimed to determine whether sports betting skills increase their odds of winning. Of the 991 studies identified in the databases, 31 met the inclusion criteria of this review. The data collected indicate that sports betting studies were primarily conducted among men aged 30 to 50 who bet several times a week and spend about $100 to $200 CAD weekly. Eleven studies reported data on the cognitions of sports bettors. The results suggest that sports bettors believe that their abilities impact their odds of gaining money during a gambling session, and that it is possible to become better at sports betting. Out of five studies reporting results on the impact of skills, three showed that sports bettors predict sporting results better than chance, but they do not make more money than a random selection because of the structure of the game. Clinical recommendations and future research are formulated. Among these, it is proposed to conceptualize the cognitions of sports bettors as "at risk" rather than as erroneous, and to educate sports bettors about current knowledge on the impact of skills on gambling. The second study of this thesis aims to develop and validate the Inventaire des Cognitions à Risque — Loteries Sportives (ICR-LS) as well as (1) to determine the factor structure of the IRC-SL, (2) to verify its convergence validity with the Gambling Related Cognition Scale (GRCS, Raylu and Oei, 2004, French version: Grall-Bronnec et al., 2012), gambling habits and gambling problem severity, and (3) to study the links between monthly hours devoted to the preparation of bets for sports lotteries during betting season and gambling habits of participants. A total of 272 sports bettors, mostly men (86.5%) in their twenties (M = 26.7 years) from the university community (88.3%) compose the sample. Principal component analysis results indicate that the instrument has two factors (superstitions and abilities), strong internal consistency (alphas > .85) and good convergent validity with the GRCS. The associations between the average IRC-SL score, the annual amount spent on lotteries, preparation of bets and gambling problem severity, and monthly playing frequency are, however, negligible. These results could be explained by the practically absent contribution of the superstitions scale to the associations, the use of a five-level Likert scale as well as the absence of others cognitive themes that may have potentially enhanced the instrument. In light of the results obtained, it is suggested to conduct focus groups with sports bettors to identify a maximum of relevant cognitive themes. Subsequently, it would be relevant to improve the instrument by carrying out a new experiment and to evaluate its temporal stability.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 12 March 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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