Perceived availability, risks, and benefits of gambling among college students


The current study was an exploration of gambling-related perceptions and their relation to gambling behavior among young adult college students. Three hundred and two ethnically diverse undergraduates at a large urban public university completed a survey to assess their perceptions of the availability, risks, and benefits of gambling, and the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) to assess gambling behavior and problems. Participants generally rated gambling as more available than alcohol or marijuana, and less risky than alcohol or cigarettes. The most common perceived benefits of gambling were social enhancement, financial gain, and positive changes in affect. Perceived benefits were a significant predictor of gambling problems. Perceived availability, perceived risk, and perceived benefits were found to be significant predictors of regular gambling. These results provide valuable information about the ways that college students perceive gambling and demonstrate that perceptions can be important predictors of gambling behavior. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Gambling Studies