Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 13–24 | Cite as

Gambling Behavior of Student-Athletes and a Student Cohort: What are the Odds?

  • Jeremiah Weinstock
  • James P. Whelan
  • Andrew W. Meyers
  • Jennifer M. Watson
Original Paper


This study investigated the prevalence of gambling, gambling related NCAA violations, and disordered gambling in student-athletes (n = 736) with a comparison cohort of students (n = 1,071) at four universities. Student-athletes reported similar rates of gambling frequency, use of a bookmaker, and disordered gambling as students. After accounting for demographic differences, student-athletes were less likely to engage in sports wagering than students. Several risk factors for disordered gambling were identified, including being male and reporting at least one parent with a history of gambling problems. These findings suggest that problems associated with gambling are a university-wide issue with student-athletes meriting additional attention because of implications for the integrity of intercollegiate sports. Improved prevention and intervention efforts for collegiate gambling are recommended.


Student-athletes Pathological gambling College students Gambling risk factors 


  1. Allison, P. D. (1999). Logistic regression using the SAS system: Theory and application. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association, (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Barr, J., Graham, T., & Asher, M. (1998, March 30) NCAA fears fallout. The Washington Post, p. A1.Google Scholar
  4. Cross, M. E., Basten, J., & Hendrick, E. M. (1998). Student-athletes and gambling: An analysis of attitudes towards risk-taking. Journal of Gambling Studies, 14, 431–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cross, M. E., & Vollano, A. G. (1998). The extent and nature of gambling among college student-athletes. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Department of Athletics.Google Scholar
  6. Cullen, F. T., & Latessa, E. J. (1996). The extent and sources of NCAA rule infractions: A national self-report study of student-athletes. A Report to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati.Google Scholar
  7. Dickson, L., Derevensky, J. L., & Gupta, R. (2004). Youth gambling problems: A harm reduction prevention model. Addiction Theory & Research, 12, 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dimeff, L. A., Baer, J. S., Kivlahan, D. R., & Marlatt, G. A. (1999). Brief alcohol screening and intervention for college students. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. Engwall, D., Hunter, R., & Steinberg, M. (2004). Gambling and other risk behaviors on university campuses. Journal of American College Health, 52, 245–255.Google Scholar
  10. LaBrie, R. A., Shaffer, H. J., LaPlante, D. A., & Wechsler, H. (2003). Correlates of college student gambling in the United States. Journal of American College Health, 5, 53–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Larimer, M. E., & Cronce, J. M. (2002). Identification, prevention, and treatment: A review of individual-focused strategies to reduce problematic alcohol consumption by college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 14S, 148–163.Google Scholar
  12. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1987). The South Oaks Gambling screen: A new instrument for the identification of pathological gamblers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 1184–1188.Google Scholar
  13. Lesieur, H. R., Cross, J., Frank, M., Welch, M., White, C. M., Rubenstein, G., Moseley, K., & Mark, M. (1991). Gambling and pathological gambling among university students. Addictive Behaviors, 16, 517–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Miller, W. R. (2000). Rediscovering fire: Small interventions, large effects. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 14, 6–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. National Collegiate Athletic Association, (2004a). NCAA 2003 National study on collegiate sports wagering and associated health risks. Indianapolis, IN: Author.Google Scholar
  16. National Collegiate Athletic Association, (2004b). 2004–2005 NCAA Division I Manual. Indianapolis, IN: Author.Google Scholar
  17. National Research Council, (1999). Pathological gambling: A critical review. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  18. Nattiv, A., & Puffer, J. C. (1991). Lifestyles and health risks of collegiate athletes. Journal of Family Practice, 33, 585–590.Google Scholar
  19. Rockey, D. L. (1998). A comparison of pathological and problem gambling between college students and college athletes. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Oxford: University of Mississippi.Google Scholar
  20. Shaffer, H. J., Forman, D. P., Scanlan, K. M., & Smith, F. (2000). Awareness of gambling-related problems, policies and educational programs among high school and college administrators. Journal of Gambling Studies, 16, 93–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shaffer, H. J., Hall, M. N., Vander Bilt, J. (1999). Estimating the prevalence of disordered gambling behavior in the United States and Canada: A research synthesis. American Journal of Public Health, 89, 1369–1376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stinchfield, R. (2002). Reliability, validity, and classification accuracy of the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS). Addictive Behaviors, 27, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Weinstock, J., Whelan, J., & Meyers, A. (2004). Behavioral assessment of gambling: An application of the timeline followback method. Psychological Assessment, 16, 72–80.Google Scholar
  24. Weinstock, J., Whelan, J. P., Meyers, A. (in press). Gambling behavior of college students: When does it become harmful? Journal of American College Health.Google Scholar
  25. Weiss, S. M. (1999). A comparison of maladaptive behaviors of athletes and non-athletes. Journal of Psychology, 133, 315–322.Google Scholar
  26. Winters, K. C., Bengston, P., Dorr, D., & Stinchfield, R. (1998). Prevalence and risk factors among college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 12, 127–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremiah Weinstock
    • 1
  • James P. Whelan
    • 2
  • Andrew W. Meyers
    • 2
  • Jennifer M. Watson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry – MC 3944 University of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.The University of MemphisMemphisUSA
  3. 3.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations