Does Sports Betting Affect My Credit Score?

Does opening a betting account affect your credit rating? Does sports betting affect your credit score? These are questions that thousands of Americans have started asking since the federal ban on the activity came tumbling down in 2018. As the map of U.S. states with legal sports betting grows, and the proliferation of online gaming follows suit, more and more gamblers are concerned about their status with TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

The short answer to the above queries is ‘no’, the simple act of registering a sports betting account and being an active player does not in itself affect your credit. Of course, there is nothing simple about the sports betting culture in America at the moment. While maintaining membership with DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and the rest won’t meddle with your credit rating, those who are not able to gamble responsibly generally have a far different experience with credit bureaus. Read ahead to learn more.

How Sports Betting May Indirectly Have a Negative Impact on Your Credit Score

If You End Up in Debt Like 20% of Sports Bettors

Most online shoppers can maintain active Amazon and eBay (etc.) accounts without getting the side-eye from credit bureaus. However, a recent report found that 28% of those who sought help from debt counseling services have outstanding bills with online shopping companies. This 28-percentile is comprised of those who cannot shop online responsibly. If it’s not already clear, take note that this in analogy for sports bettors.

Recent data regarding gambling debt in America has uncovered that 20% of surveyed sports bettors are in debt from gambling. Moreover, the average debt is between $55,000 and $90,000, with over 50% of these debtors filing for bankruptcy. This logically implies that for 20% of the American sports betting population, sports betting does have a negative affect on credit score.

While you may not yet be in debt from sports betting, we ask you to consider your “risk” level. Problem gamblers are more likely to get in significant debt from sports betting, so it’s important to consider where you are on the spectrum of vulnerability. For instance, if you have any one of the following mental or behavioral health conditions, you may be more vulnerable to gambling disorder and should therefore abstain of gambling if your credit rating (in addition to mental health) is a concern:

  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD)

View more on problem gambling risk factors.

Furthermore, individuals in certain professions/vocations exhibit a tendency to become problem gamblers which can lead to debt and subsequently a poor credit rating. For example, athletes have a propensity to developing gambling disorder more than the general population, as do military servicepersons. We encourage you to take the following quiz to assess where you stand with respect to problem gambling, which can be predictive of your future credit score.

If You Get Audited for Your Sports Betting Side Hustle

“62% of Americans don’t know how to report gambling winnings. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made it explicitly clear that online sports betting winnings are considered income and are fully taxable. You are therefore required to report this income on your tax return. This includes money won from unregulated sportsbooks (accounts for 89% of sports betting in the USA) which is something the IRS is cracking down on.”

Sports Betting Side Hustle is a Dangerous Myth

Given that most sports bettors are unsure about how to report their winnings to the IRS, there is theoretically as much of a risk of being audited for sports betting as there is any other form of income that goes unreported by the April 15 Tax Day. While the IRS does not report an audit to credit bureaus, any fallout that comes from the audit can be. For example, if you didn’t report 10K in winnings from sports betting in a given tax year, are audited and have to pay penalties, and cannot pay said penalties in the allotted time, you run the risk of being reported to credit bureaus. This is just one of the reasons that the sports betting side hustle is a dangerous myth.

Another Article You May be Interested In:

If you’re concerned that sports betting may affect your credit score, there may be deeper underlying concerns regarding gambling that you need to attend to before your mental and behavioral health is also impacted. Reach out via the contacts provided below to speak with a Kindbridge care coordinator.

Is Sports Betting Having a Negative Affect on Your Life?

CALL +1 (877) 426-4258


Email [email protected]