Game on: Past year gambling, gambling-related problems, and fantasy sports gambling among college athletes and non-athletes

Abstract

College students experience higher rates of gambling-related problems than most other population segments, including the general population. Although Division I (D1) athletes often have more at stake than the average student if and when they gamble (e.g., the potential to lose their athletic eligibility), relatively few studies have assessed the gambling behavior of this population and none have specifically assessed fantasy sports gambling. We conducted a study to examine gambling behavior (past-year gambling, gambling-related problems, and fantasy sport gambling) among a sample (N = 692) of college students at a private religiously affiliated university in the Southwest US. The sample for our study was unique in that approximately 30 % of the participants were D1 athletes. We compared the gambling behavior among three groups based on the athlete status: D1 athletes, club/intramural/recreational (CIR) athletes, and non-athletes (NAs). Compared to females in our sample, males observed higher rates of past year gambling, fantasy sports participation, fantasy sports gambling, and gambling-related problems. Among males, we found that CIR athletes observed the highest rates of past year gambling and fantasy sports participation and D1 athletes observed higher rates than NAs. We did not find differences in fantasy sport gambling and past year gambling-related problems based on athlete status in males or females.

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