Online horse race gamblers are less keen to bet after a losing day

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File image. By H. Hach from Pixabay

A new study shows that gamblers are likely to stay away from online betting on horses 27% longer after a losing day, when compared to a day on which they won or broke even.

The study by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland looked at how losing or winning on the previous betting day predicts how long it takes for a gambler to return to the next session of online betting on horse races.

The study also found that high wins or losses on the previous betting day do not predict the timing of the next betting session.

“A typical online horse race bettor seems to modify their betting behaviour according to how successful their previous betting day was,” said one of the researchers, Tuomo Kainulainen.

“Earlier studies have found that bettors tend to reduce their stakes after a losing day. We were now able to show that a typical bettor also stays away from betting for a longer time after losing.”

The study, published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, used individual-level gambling account data.

The researchers analysed the betting behaviour of more than 9000 individuals in Finland who placed bets on the Finnish horse race betting operator Fintoto’s online betting platform in August 2012.

A typical online horse race gambler in Finland is a 51-year-old male who lives in an urban area and places a bet about every four days.

The average betting volume per day was €43 (about $US50) and the average net loss per day was €12 (about $US14).

The study also examined whether different groups of bettors identified in the data had a different reaction to a losing day. The researchers analysed the association of individual characteristics, such as age and gender, with the next betting session after a losing day. They found that after a losing day, inexperienced bettors were likely to stay away from betting for a longer time than experienced ones.

“Despite women engaging in online horse race betting less frequently than men, we find no difference in how these two groups modify their behaviour after a losing day,” Kainulainen points out.

The researchers found some differences in how different groups of bettors reacted to a losing day, but these differences were very small. The study suggests that all gamblers, regardless of their individual characteristics, are likely to stay away from betting for longer after a losing day.

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