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By: Ashleigh Lauren Johnson

3 min read

Why Do Sports Bettors Engage In In-Play Sports Betting? An Operators Must-Know Glance At Player Psychology

In a study conducted and documented by Elizabeth A. Killick and Mark D. Griffiths in their 2020 published paper ‘Why Do Individuals Engage in In-Play Sports Betting? A Qualitative Interview Study’, Altenar pulls from this study on why in-play betting is vastly popular amongst bettors as opposed to pre-match betting. 


You can discover more about in-play and pre-match betting from Altenars blog, however, let’s take a look at the three key reasons why bettors are shifting to in-play betting. 


The study conducted by Killick and Griffiths spoke to a host of bettors who entertained both in-play and pre-match betting and discovered three key behaviours that drove a player to in-play betting. 


According to the above study, the three main reasons for in-play betting being a popular alternative to pre-match are ‘increases excitement’, ‘makes the game more intense’ and ‘allows gamblers to use their betting skills and knowledge'.  


You can discover more about applying in-play betting, or sportsbook solutions to your online and in-land offering by contacting Altenar today! 



Inside The Three Key Behaviours of The Sports Betting Focused Study


Taking a deeper look at the underpinnings of the above key motivations, it becomes clear that with the advent of this feature and the growing demand for in-play and on-the-go betting, bettors prefer to use in-play betting to infuse and heighten social situations, sports events and their overall enjoyment and inclusivity of the betting experience. 


Increases Excitement

The knowledge that monetary gain could participate in an otherwise normal sports event increased the bettor experience; in the Killick and Griffiths study spoke to a group of in-play bettors and their responses speak for themselves.


One participant noted, “It increases the excitement of that game and your attention and enjoyment” and another participant stated, “It’s quite fun trying to predict what’s going to happen”. This essence prevailed in the host of answers noted in the paper, and as a result, it seemed that the potential social enhancement of in-play betting roused many bettors to place a bet on a specific sporting event they could participate in with their friends. 


For instance, one participant of the study noted, “it’s the whole buzz and expectation thing. When you win it is a buzz, especially if you’re with your mates and they’ve got it on as well.”



Makes The Game More Intense 

This interesting motivation for in-play betting suggested that as opposed to pre-match betting, there was an increased psychological locking effect and offered a wealth of intrigue and focus.


One participant in this study explained, “With in-play, you’re more invested in it. You can place sports bets that are in the future and if you do that, I don’t know about other people, but I can place a bet over a few days and then forget about it and come back to it and think ‘oh, it lost’. Whereas in-play you’re more invested in what you’re watching anyway. So it’s not very often you would place an in-play sports bet and not be watching the play happen. There’s a bit more of a thrill to it I guess.” 



Allows Gamblers To Use Their Betting Skills And Knowledge

Some bettors believed that wagering on in-play bets offered them an opportunity to use their betting skills to their advantage and proved to increase the entertainment value of betting for each player. 


As a result, many of the participants in this study watched the match or game they were betting on as they felt this further informed the chances of a ‘winning bet’. 


One participant noted, “I guess in-play betting you feel more confident that you know. Everyone thinks they’re an expert. You’re watching it and you think ‘well there you go, this is quite accurate’…You’ve been watching the game and that would inform your decision.”


Another participant explained, “If a team scores then they get momentum and they turn it over, especially if you’re expecting them to win anyway. So I suppose watching the game and thinking ‘yeah I know what’s going to happen.’”


After looking into the three motivations for in-play betting behaviour many bettors enjoy the entertainment aspects afforded by in-play betting. 


You can discover more about Altenar, sports betting features and how these increase player retention and player satisfaction by visiting altenar.com today, or contacting the award-winning team behind the sportsbook solution. 

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