More than half of respondents to an NCAA-commissioned survey of 18- to 22-year-olds admitted to placing sports bets, with two-thirds of those living on college campuses saying they participate in betting.
The NCAA announced the results on Wednesday, less than a month after the Alabama baseball coach and Iowa and Iowa State athletes were found guilty of betting athletes in violation of NCAA rules.
The purpose of the survey was to explore the prevalence of sports betting behaviors. Boston-based polling firm Opinion Diagnostics conducted the survey online last month and received 3,527 responses. The pool was almost evenly split between students and young adults not attending college.
The NCAA said it will commission an athlete-only survey this fall.
The growth of online betting platforms and gambling operator advertising prompted the investigation, NCAA Chairman Charlie Baker said.
“We needed a new baseline to better understand what student-athletes experience on their campuses and among their peers to better help them navigate the potentially disruptive dynamics of legal sports betting,” said Baker.
“Sports betting has increased interest in sports of all kinds, including college sports, which is great for our fans, but the NCAA and everyone from coaches to athletic department staff and presidents college, need to better understand the impact sports betting can have on student-athletes,” he said.
The survey found that 58% of respondents acknowledged making at least one sports bet, and 67% of college students living on campus said they were gamblers and tended to bet with higher frequency.
Some 41% of student respondents who bet on sports placed a bet on their school’s teams and 35% used a student bookmaker.
Of all respondents, 30% said their typical single bet was between $10 and $20, and 6% said they lost more than $500 on sports betting in a single day.
Mobile apps were the preferred choice for placing bets, with 28% choosing this method.
Live in-game betting is the most popular type of bet for those who use betting apps or visit sportsbooks in person.