The Extent and Nature of Gambling Among College Student Athletes


o Table of Contents
o Executive Summary
o Introduction
o Review of the Literature
o Methodology
o Results
o Discussion
o Conclusion
o Bibliography
o Biography
o Acknowledgements
o Contact Information
o Purchase Copy

II. Sports Related Gambling

Further analysis of the data in Table 2 was conducted regarding student athlete involvement in sports gambling. An in-depth analysis of sports-related gambling was conducted because most sports wagering is illegal and because of the public stance taken by the NCAA against sports-related gambling. A more detailed look appears below.

Sports related gambling

Cullen and Latessa's 1996 study established the benchmark of 25% of male athletes, specifically football and men's basketball student athletes, wager on college sports. Our research suggests a higher prevalence of gambling across all sports.

Table 2 indicates the percentage of gambling on sports and in "sports pools" by male and female student athletes since attending college. By condensing variables, our analysis indicates sports-related gambling by student athletes, an activity banned by NCAA Bylaws, is higher than expected from previous research.


Table 2

Student Athlete Gambling Activities While Attending College


Percentage Responding "Yes"

Type of Gambling All (n=758) Male (n=460) Female (n=298)
% n % n % n
Casino* 45.5 345 48.5 223 40.6 121
Slot or other gambling machines 40.5 307 42.8 197 36.6 109
Play cards for money* 29.7 225 39.1 180 14.4  43
Bet on sports* 28.5 216 37.0 170 15.1  45
Lottery or numbers 26.5 201 27.8 128 24.2  72
Games of skill* 25.7 195 37.0 170 8.1 24
NCAA basketball tournament or Super Bowl pool* 22.6 171 30.0 138 11.1 33
Dice games* 14.4  109 18.5 85 7.7  23
Bet on horses or other animals* 11.1 84 13.5 62 7.4 22
Bingo 9.0 68 8.0 37 10.1 30
World Wide Web 0.9 7 0.9 4 1.0 3
All variables combined into a single variable indicating percentage who have gambled on any of these activities while in college.* 71.9 545 80.0 368 59.1  176

* = Significant differences between male and female student athletes determined through ANOVA (p < .05)


Two variables ("have you bet on sports" and "have you bet in an NCAA basketball tournament pool or picked Super Bowl squares" for money) were combined into a single variable to obtain a more accurate indication of the level of sports gambling among student athletes. The new variable indicates that 34.9% of the entire sample of student athletes gambled on sports since attending college. However, the level of sports-related gambling among male student athletes is significantly higher than that of their female peers. Specifically, 45.5% of male student athletes have gambled on sports since attending college, compared with only 18.5% of female student athletes (p< .001).

It is worth noting that the combination of three variables ("gambling on sports," "gambling on sports pools," and "gambling on games of skill") into a single measure of sports-related gambling increases the percentage of student athletes who gamble on sports. The combination of these three variables reveals that 42.3% of all student athletes, and 56.1% of male student athletes have engaged in this definition of sports-related wagering. The percentage of women involved in sports- related wagering was slightly higher (20.5%).


I) General Gambling Activities
II) Sports Related Gambling
III) Gambling with Bookmakers and Other Organized Gambling Activities



Table of Contents | Executive Summary | Introduction | Review of the Literature | Methodology | Results
Discussion | Conclusion | Bibliography | Biography | Acknowledgements | Contact Information