The NCAA, as it continues to adjust to the evolving sports gambling landscape in the United States, released survey results Wednesday that indicate betting is prevalent among young adults, especially on college campuses and within minority communities.
Key findings from the survey include:
• 58% of the respondents have participated in at least one sports betting activity. The NCAA includes fantasy sports in its definition of sports betting.
• 67% of students living on campus are bettors and tend to bet at a higher frequency, with 41% of the students who bet having wagered on their school’s team. Thirty-five percent have used a student bookmaker.
• 68% of Black or African American respondents engaged in betting activities, the highest among the demographics surveyed. Other races: Hispanic or Latino 63%; Asian 55%; white or Caucasian 54%.
The survey was commissioned by NCAA president Charlie Baker to establish a baseline of sports betting activity in the new gambling landscape in the U.S. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have launched legal betting markets in the past five years, and a handful more are gearing up to the get into the bookmaking business later this year.
The survey found nearly the same rate of engagement in betting in states with legal markets compared to states without legal sportsbooks.
“We needed a new baseline so we can better understand what student-athletes are experiencing on their campuses and among their peers so we can best help them deal with the potentially disruptive dynamic of legal sports betting,” Baker said in the release announcing the survey results. “Sports betting has increased interest in sports of all kinds, including college sports, which is great for our fans, but the NCAA and everyone from coaches to athletics department staff and college presidents must better understand what impact sports betting may have on student-athletes.”
The survey was conducted April 18-23 and was centered on adults ages 18-22 who have lived in the United States. It received 3,527 responses. Nearly half of the respondents were pursuing higher education degrees and studying at institutions located in the U.S. Market research firm Opinion Diagnostics conducted the survey on behalf of the NCAA.
The survey found that $10-$20 was the most common amount risked per bet, with 79% of respondents risking $1-$50 per wager. Black or African American respondents were an outlier, with 10% typically betting more than $100 compared to 5% for the general population.
The survey indicated that the NFL was the most popular league among 18-22-year-olds, followed by professional basketball (NBA/WNBA). College basketball and college football ranked third and fourth, respectively.
The NCAA examined what it determined risky behaviors, including betting a few times a week or daily; betting $50 or more on a typical bet, or losing more than $500 betting sports in a single day. The survey found that 16% of 18-22-year-olds had engaged in at least one of the risky behaviors.
The NCAA will conduct another survey of student-athletes only about their betting behaviors in the coming months.