Younger generations changing the nature of sports gambling

Photo of a basketball basket

Photo of a basketball basketSports betting has been around for ages, but the way in which people bet on sports — and which sports they are betting on — is changing rapidly. There once was a time when sports such as horse racing and boxing led the charge in terms of sports gambling. People would flock to arenas and tracks to watch their bets unfold right before their ages. Today, though, this has changed a lot. Not only are boxing and horse racing not as popular, but people no longer have to attend an event to following a wager. Today’s sports betting landscape is being fueled by two new generations of people who are growing up with legalized sports betting being an acceptable practice, and not one that is done mainly underground.

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Generation Z and Millennials are wagering differently

The two youngest generations that are old enough to bet — Generation Z and Millennials — aren’t very keen on boxing and horse racing. Instead, they prefer more action-packed sports and leagues and teams that connect with fans through means other than just playing on a court or field.

Generation Z (people born between 1996 and 2010) and Millennials (those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s) relate much more to sports such as basketball and leagues such as the NBA in part because the game itself is much quicker, action-packed and non-stop. Younger fans also gravitate to the NBA, for example, because of the players’ and teams’ relationships with fans that are developed over social media.

These younger people are flocking toward these different sports, but they are just as interested in wagering on sports as the generations before them. In fact, according to a USBets report, 43% of men between the ages of 25 and 34 who watch sports on television placed a wager on a game at least once in that week. In addition, 14% of women who are considered Millennials placed a bet once a week as well.

This study proves how popular sports betting is among these younger generations, even if the sports they bet on — and how they place their wagers — are dramatically different than that of their parents’ generations.

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Wagering is a global activity

The popularity of sports betting among younger generations isn’t just relegated to the United States, though. In fact, sports betting has been an ingrained part of culture around the world for far longer than it has in America — where the practice was only recently legalized in places outside of Nevada.

Countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and even Canada have ravenous sports fans who like to have skin in the game, as they say. And the same way that American youth is enjoying sports gambling, so, too, is the youth north of the border in Canada.

Right now, Canadian law isn’t as lax as the new regulations in the United States, where each state has the power to decide how they want to regulate sports gambling. However, the push to legalize the practice is well underway, and it could end up rivaling the rules of the U.S. — where each province has a say in its own laws.

Whatever may come of the sports gambling debate in Canada, there’s no denying that a youth movement is dramatically altering the way sports betting is being approached, handled and enjoyed.

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