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Why Micro-betting Might Be the Next Problem Gambling Trend

Published: July 24, 2023

Activities can be more engaging when they’re fast, but that quickness can lead to extra risks when it comes to gambling. The practice of placing multiple quick bets on small details of sports games is called micro-betting. And it’s starting to get the attention of responsible gambling advocates due to the frequency and instant gratification it can provide.

Micro-betting essentially combines live betting with prop betting, where people can place wagers during the game on certain details that may not be directly related to the final outcome. This kind of gambling requires an intense amount of specificity and most participants do not win much, if anything. 

Despite those odds, plenty of people are placing wagers on everything from whether the next free throw will be a make or a miss to whether a batter will walk to first. And micro-betting is only expected to get bigger – it is the fastest-growing segment of in-play betting, with experts predicting it could add up to $20 billion worth of bets by 2027. 

Technology is also only expected to keep improving, and some anticipate that people could one day place bets on tiny details like curveball speeds and the angle of passes, right on their smartphone. All these factors add up to some concerns for Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling

“That heavy frequency is associated with gambling problems,” he said in a recent Fortune article. “You can get a hit of dopamine every few seconds; it’s more akin to playing a slot machine than betting on sports. People can get in this trance-like state where they just try to stay in action and bet over and over again just to feel that same kind of high.”

The legalization of sports betting has changed how people gamble, whether through micro-betting or not. That’s why Before You Bet has created resources for those who might need them in a relatable, engaging, and non-judgmental way.  Most recently, Before You Bet has launched a responsible gambling sub-campaign focused on sports betting called Pause Before You Play. The campaign encourages everyone who might engage in sports betting to take a pause before they play and set limits, recognize the risks, and know when to stop. The campaign includes shareable and customizable digital assets, fliers, and a video PSA to use in your community. 

And if you are looking for additional help and resources, Before You Bet offers a free two-minute quiz to gauge your risk and a wide variety of listings for free organizations, programs, and more near you. Access the Get Help page to find online listings for support groups, financial education resources, and more. 

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