College Student Perceptions of Crime and Casino Gambling: A Preliminary Investigation
To gain insight into how attitudes toward casino gambling vary by an area's experience with gambling, a survey was given to 415 university students at the University of Nevada, Reno, and 420 students at the University of Memphis. Casino gambling has been legal in Reno since 1931, but was introduced in the Memphis area in 1992. Given the differences in duration and degree of integration of casinos in each area, significant differences were expected by area in respondents' perceptions of casinos and casino gambling. While some significant differences were found, the most prominent finding is the degree of similarity of attitudes of students in each university and the high percentage in each sample that associated casino gambling with types of crime. Where significant differences did exist, the findings are interpreted as supporting either an exposure hypothesis or a cultural conservatism hypothesis.
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