Trends in NCAA Student-Athlete Gambling Behaviors and Attitudes

Executive Summary November 2017 Findings:

  • Overall rates of gambling among NCAA men have decreased.  Fifty-five percent of men in the 2016 study reported gambling for money within the past year, compared to 57% of respondents in the 2012 study and 66% in 2008.  As in the general population (college-aged and otherwise), women engage in nearly all gambling activities at much lower rates than men.  Over the 12-year period studied, participation in most gambling activities decreased among all student-athletes despite the expansion of land-based and online gambling opportunities during this time.
  • However, in contrast to activities such as poker or online casino games, sports wagering remains popular among student-athletes.  In 2016, 24% of men reported violating NCAA bylaws within the previous year by wagering on sports for money (9% reported wagering on sports once per month or more).  These rates are just slightly lower those seen in the 2008 and 2012 surveys.  About 5% of current NCAA women reported wagering on sports in the past year.
  • Most of the gambling and sports wagering behaviors of student-athletes involve low stakes.  Among student-athletes who have ever gambled for money, the largest reported one-day loss is less than $10 for nearly one-third of men and more than one-half of women.  Only 35% of men and 13% of women gamblers have ever lost more than $50 in a day.  Of the student-athletes who have ever wagered on sports, only 21% of men and 5% of women reported losing more than $50 in a day.  Most fantasy sports and basketball pool participation among student-athletes involves similarly low amounts.
  • That said, gambling and sports wagering can lead to significant well-being issues for some student-athletes.  Just under 2% of men participating in the 2016 survey (along with a smaller percentage of women) met standard diagnostic criteria for problem gambling.  Four percent of men who had gambled in the past year reported one-day gambling losses of $500 or more.  Student-athlete gambling debts are a well-being concern, but also a worry for potential vulnerability to outside gambling influences.

Click here for a pdf copy of “Trends in NCAA Student-Athlete Gambling Behaviors and Attitudes”Click here to read the rest of the article.

ALCAP Alerts

Enter your email to be subscribed to updates from ALCAP

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

To e-mail us at ALCAP, click here.
To request information about American Character Builders programs for your school or church, click here.

© 2021 ALCAP