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Hotel & Tourism Management
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
College student gambling, gaming education
The research in this study examined the nature of college student gambling (N=201) and whether general gaming education can influence meaningful changes in college students’ gambling attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions. A group of college students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Casino Management class, received general gaming education while two comparison groups, one from the same university and one from Worcester State College, Massachusetts, did not. Assessment of the participants’ attitudes toward gambling, gambling fallacy perceptions, ability to calculate gambling odds, and gambling behaviors were examined before and after exposure to gaming education. Seventy five percent of the students surveyed as the baseline group reported gambling within the past 12 months, with a minority gambling weekly or more, or gambling large amounts of money. At the semester end, follow-up findings showed that the students who received the gaming education intervention demonstrated significant improvement in their ability to calculate gambling odds and resist common gambling fallacies. Unexpectedly however, this improved knowledge was not associated with any decreases in their gambling attitudes or time and money spent on gambling activities. The implication drawn from this research is that knowledge gained from a general gaming class, including gaining improvements in odds calculations and fallacy perceptions, may not be enough of a factor to effect significant changes in college students’ gambling attitudes and behaviors.