Published Date2018-06-01
JournalJournal of gambling studies, 2018-06-01, Volume 34 Find other publications in this journal
Author Info
  • Medaille College, Buffalo, NY, USA.


The problem of gambling addiction is especially noteworthy among college students, many of whom have the resources, proximity, free time, and desire to become involved in the myriad options of gambling now available. Although limited attention has been paid specifically to college student gambling in the body of literature, there have been three published meta-analyses estimating the prevalence of probable pathological gambling among college students. The research presented is the largest and most comprehensive, presenting an up-to-date proportion of those students worldwide exhibiting gambling pathology as assessed by the South Oaks Gambling Screen, and is the first to include estimates of sub-clinical problem gambling. A thorough literature review and coding procedure resulted in 124 independent data estimates retrieved from 72 studies conducted between 1987 and the present, surveying 41,989 university students worldwide. The estimated proportion of probable pathological gamblers among students was computed at 6.13%, while the rate of problem gambling was computed at 10.23%. Statistical significance was found in the influence of the percentage of non-white students on pathological gambling rates. The implications of this and other moderator analyses such as age and year of studies, as well as recommendations for future practice in dealing with college students and gambling disorder on campus are outlined and described in detail. Suggestions and rationales for future avenues of research in the area are also described.

Mesh Terms

  • Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology
  • Gambling/epidemiology
  • Students/statistics & numerical data