Micro betting, smaller bets popular in year of high inflation

Bets are on for the World Series, as fans are caught up in the excitement. But is high inflation and a possible recession slowing it down?

A recent survey shows sports bettors say they'll bet less money due to high inflation, but are still betting. And micro betting, the placing of small bets on moments in a game is taking off.

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Bets are being wagered on the Astros and the Phillies, on the teams, on the players, to win, to lose.

"That's going to bring in more hate-betting. That's what I think the biggest difference is. You have more hate betting," teases Philadelphia-based radio host Eytan Shander to this Houston-based reporter.  

But is 40-year high inflation slowing bets down?  

An August 2022 Odd Assist survey found inflation is leading 60% of sports bettors to say they'll bet less money.  

But Shander, a national and Philadelphia sports show host, says fans are still betting.

"You know what’s interesting, is it should be a major concern for people who are not in the three to five percent who are betting professionally and making money," said Shander.

He points out that during the height of the pandemic, when millions of people lost their jobs, sports betting spiked.  

And this year, SimpleBet says micro betting of small amounts, such as $5 on the outcome of a pitch or an "at bat," has tripled to $262 million.

"I think people would still rather say, give me a chance to hit a parlay and cover the diapers for the next month, as opposed to slowing down and not betting," said Shander.

The Odd Assist survey found 57% of betters have used credit cards, and 30% have gone into credit card debt to put money into their betting account. But with the average credit card interest rate hitting 18%, interest, losing can be even more painful.  

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For new bettors, Shander recommends setting aside a bankroll of cash for the year you can afford to lose, say $1000, and only bet one to three percent per bet.

"Each bet is a unit, and that’s a reflection of $10 to $30, based on your bankroll," Shander suggests.

So what are your odds?

"The Astros are a heavy favorite, just under 2 to 1, to win the series, which makes sense," Shander said.

Some states, including New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Iowa, ban the use of credit cards for betting.