Trends in gambling behavior among college student-athletes: A comparison of 2004 and 2008 NCAA survey data

Abstract

Two large samples of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athletes in 2004 (N  =  18,916) and 2008 (N  =  17,675) were surveyed about their gambling behavior. A cross-comparison highlighted gambling trends among college-student athletes across the four-year span. Overall, past-year and weekly gambling rates were lower in 2008 compared to 2004. There were no within-gender differences in the proportion of individuals at-risk or meeting criteria for a gambling problem between 2004 (4.0% males, 0.3% females) and 2008 (3.8% males, 0.4% females). Participation rates were higher in 2004 for all gambling activities, except for past-year Internet gambling and sports wagering, which increased in 2008 among males. Across sports, gambling participation was notably highest among golfers of both genders. Collectively, the results suggest that gambling activity among student-athletes is on a downward trend in spite of ongoing expansion of gambling opportunities.

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