As sports betting gains increasing prominence, ethical concerns arise. Lawmakers, sports organisations and individual gamblers all must work together towards responsible gambling practices.

Jason Kwak 21 and Neelesh Pandey 21 of Bass Connections Student Research Project have conducted extensive research on the ethics of sports gambling. Their project explores ways that it may become responsible through a harm reduction model with consistent regulation, transparent taxation practices, and strict integrity requirements.


Professional sports leagues have traditionally opposed legal betting due to the fear that any scandal caused by betting would compromise the integrity of their game. With legal betting now being allowed, leagues may be better able to monitor betting patterns and detect any suspicious activities more quickly for instance if one team suddenly becomes heavily favored or the betting pattern abruptly changes; these could indicate any attempts at cheating by opponents.

Another ethical concern related to gambling addiction is its potential risk. Addiction affects millions of people worldwide, and sports betting makes it harder for individuals to control spending. Therefore, gambling companies should implement mechanisms in place to combat addiction.

Additionally, an increasing number of states are implementing integrity fees on sports bets as a form of tax to compensate sports leagues for costs associated with upholding game integrity policing costs. These unique taxes collect on an “handle” rather than revenue basis and are more accurately termed handle taxes rather than revenue taxes.


Addiction to gambling is a serious health threat that has been linked with financial ruin, family discord and other physical conditions. Furthermore, it can create feelings of guilt and anxiety; but there are steps you can take to either avoid becoming addicted in the first place or seek treatment if already addicted; such as setting spending limits and restricting yourself to certain number of games per week.

People with mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as personality traits like impulsivity, are at higher risk for sports betting addiction. Recognizing warning signs such as lying to loved ones about why you cannot gamble is key in recognizing gambling addiction before it escalates further.

Therapy and counseling are effective methods for treating gambling addiction. A therapist can teach healthy coping mechanisms and assist you with creating a relapse prevention plan, while medication may also prove effective.


Match-fixing is a massive problem in sports and one of the greatest threats to sporting integrity. Match-fixers provide money to players and officials in order to manipulate a sports event for various purposes, such as avoiding relegation or increasing transfer market value; in most instances this involves one team deliberately losing for financial gain.

Criminals have found online betting to be an easy and globalized way of fixing matches, particularly due to its globalisation. Criminals can quickly connect with athletes, coaches and referees from around the world as well as access the diverse types of bets offered by bookies increasing inside information value significantly. Although match-fixing tends to occur less frequently at higher-paying professional leagues with large budgets for player salaries than lower leagues or amateur teams who lack enough funding.


Sports gambling can be both exciting and addictive; its ethical concerns include addiction risk and match fixing risks. Gambling companies and sport organisations should collaborate to promote responsible betting practices by offering self exclusion programs and deposit limits as well as informing participants of any associated risks.

Although many view gambling as an activity with negative societal ramifications, it can actually be an important economic activity and be beneficial to society overall. Lawmakers and sports organisations must strike a delicate balance between entertainment and financial gain and risks of addiction in protecting consumers; ultimately using harm reduction strategies such as self-exclusion programs and limit deposits is often best approach to protect consumers. This note was prepared by Jason Kwak ’21 from Public Policy Studies and Neelesh Pandey ’21 both of whom received Bass Connections funding to investigate ethics surrounding betting on sports; their research is guided by faculty mentor Wayne Norman.

By arjxx

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