African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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An analysis of sport gambling behaviour among university students

E Lodewyckx, J Surujlal


Gambling is probably as old as society, but recently formal betting on sport events has started making rapid inroads on the African continent. Political changes in South Africa in the past two decades have resulted in explosive growth of the gambling industry and increased gambling opportunities dramatically. Since casino gambling was legalized in South Africa in 1996, the gambling industry has become a fast-growing business offering a variety of gambling options to individuals. It now permeates almost every segment of society including the family, communities, media and government. Consequently, it is inevitable that university students will
be exposed to gambling and its promotion on a daily basis through a variety of sources which include coverage in print and broadcast media, observation of the sale of lottery tickets, visits to the casino with friends or family and watching friends betting on sport events. The aim of this
study was to extend previous research on gambling by empirically examining gambling behaviours of university students with the intention of contributing to a better understanding of their gambling behaviour and suggest preventative measures to reduce problems associated with
gambling. A 22-item questionnaire, based on an extensive literature study of gambling as well as items obtained from the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) (Lesieur & Blume, 1987), was developed to investigate different aspects of gambling behaviour. Exploratory factor analysis was
conducted on the items. The responses from the gambling questionnaire were subjected to principle axis factor analysis. Using a minimum eigenvalue of 1.0 and a varimax rotation, a total of 3 first order factors namely behaviour, escapism and motives were identified. The findings of
the current study found that gambling is not a risk for most university students. However, it is important that addictive gamblers be identified and treated as their behaviour may have consequences not only for other students but also for the university.

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