Whether going to the casino or playing poker online or in a real-life setting, gambling has become increasingly accessible and popular. Another form of gambling is betting on sports competitions. As an athlete it is important to understand how betting can affect you differently than the average person. Since you have influence over games and access to information that other people do not, there are rules and regulations that must be understood in order to be protected against negative effects of betting. By educating yourself about the fair play principles and betting regulations you can safeguard yourself from making mistakes that could harm your career (see further below: ‘How can I protect myself from illegal betting and match-fixing?’ and Integrity – betting).
When played with minimum amounts and among friends, gambling can be an enjoyable pastime. However, there is a risk of losing control and becoming a problem gambler, especially for athletes.