College student knowledge of New York State gaming laws and self-reported gambling participation
Conroy, Kathleen M
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The purpose of the exploratory study was to describe college student knowledge of New York State gaming laws, their confidence in the accuracy of their knowledge, and their self-reported willingness to engage in various gambling practices. The state laws were identified through a systematic search and scenarios depicting various legal and illegal gambling behaviors were developed with the help of a panel of experts. The 14-item survey, New York Gaming Law Knowledge and Gambling Participation Survey was created and given to 248 college students to address the following research areas: How knowledgeable or confident are college students about the legality of various New York State gaming laws? Is there a relationship between the accuracy scores and confidence ratings? How willing are college students to participate in the various gambling behaviors depicted in selected legal and illegal gambling scenarios? And finally, are there gender differences in accuracy, confidence or willingness to participate in gambling? Results indicated that the sample was largely not knowledgeable about New York gaming laws as depicted in the scenarios. Overall, participants answered the dichotomous (Yes/No) question, "Is this (scenario) legal?" correctly, on average only 44.2% of the time. Confidence scores were also low overall, and when higher confidence was expressed in their answers, often the students were incorrect (5 of 8 significant relationships between accuracy and confidence were inverse, meaning a higher level of confidence was associated with an inaccurate response). College student willingness to participate in gambling behaviors varied widely depending upon the type of gambling being depicted, but overall, students were willing to participate in 57% of the legal scenarios and 44% of the illegal scenarios. Finally, males were more likely to have a higher level of confidence in their answer than females, but neither gender's confidence was grounded in accurate knowledge. In general, there was a lack of significant gender differences in willingness to participate in gambling behaviors depicted in the scenarios. The results of this exploratory study show an overall lack of information and/or education around legal aspects of gambling, an area of research that has virtually been ignored in the past.