The bet of a loyal fan: the role of online sports communities in sports betting behavior
Primary author: Leticia Couto
Co-author(s): Mina Park
Faculty sponsor: Mina Park
Primary college/unit: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Sports betting is a common topic one can be exposed to in any online sports community. Sports fans are frequently sharing information about sports betting and their betting experience with community members. Interactions among bettors are easily observed in online sports communities as well. This paper examines the role of online sports community participation as a mediator between fan loyalty and sports betting attitude and behavior. A web-administered survey was conducted and a total of 135 participants were included for the analysis. Results of the analysis show that the effects of fan loyalty on sports betting behavior is mediated by online sports community participation and perceived fun of sports betting. In specific, fan loyalty is positively associated with online sports community participation and level of online sports community participation is positively associated with perceived fun of sports betting and sports betting behavior. There is no direct relationship between fan loyalty and perceived fun of sports betting, or between fan loyalty and sports betting behavior. Results highlight the role of online sports communities in understanding sports fans’ betting behaviors. Implications and future directions of online sports community research are discussed.