The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sports Betting Tipsters as Professional Bettors: A Qualitative Interview Study

Yuce A., Yuce S. G., Katirci H., AYDOĞDU V., Chiu W., Griffiths M. D.

SUSTAINABILITY, vol.15, no.9, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/su15097729
  • Journal Name: SUSTAINABILITY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Although the COVID-19 pandemic impacted individuals who bet on sports, sports betting tipsters (SBTs; i.e., individuals who provide professional tips on the outcome of sporting events) were arguably among the most affected groups. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to explore how SBTs in Turkey were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including alternate forms of gambling engagement (e.g., e-sports betting). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 85 SBTs aged between 20 and 48 years. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis to identify common themes. Based on the qualitative analysis, four themes emerged: (i) the meaning and role of sports betting, (ii) the effects of the pandemic on life and sports betting, (iii) comparing e-sports betting vs. traditional sports betting, and (iv) possible sports betting behavior if the pandemic continues. SBTs reported experiencing psychological distress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's cancellation of sporting events. More specifically, SBTs reported a sense of emptiness because of the lack of sports betting. Furthermore, SBT reported suffering a loss of income and turning to e-sports betting during the pandemic. However, the majority of SBTs did not find betting on e-sports as exciting as traditional betting but reported they would continue to engage in e-sports betting if traditional sports betting was not available. The findings of this study can contribute to a better understanding of the impact of SBTs on individuals and further provide practical implications for policymakers to promote a safe, sustainable, and long-term growth of the sports betting industry in Turkey.