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This chapter presents the Background of the study, Statement of the problem, Research
questions, Objectives of the study,significant of the study and the limitation of the study.
1.1 Background to the Study
Gambling is a form of behaviour that has been identify to have serious consequences on
gamblers health, study-habit, academic performance, and has been reported to be related to some
criminal related behaviour (Oyebisi, Alao, &Popoola, 2012). Also, Gambling has been generally
defined as betting or wagering money or something of value on an event that has an uncertain
outcome with the possibility of winning money or materials (Korn& Shaffer, 1999; Potenza,
Fiellin, Heninger, Rounsaville, &Mazure, 2002). Gambling traditionally includes activities such
as wagering at casinos, on lotteries, animal racing, card games, sporting events, video lottery,
and Internet card and casino games (Potenza et al., 2002). Young people including university
students are a high risk group for gambling problems (Moore et al., 2013). A high prevalence of
gambling participation and problem gambling has been found in different university student
populations, mainly in studies in high income countries (Etel, Tabchi, Bou Khalil, Hlais&Richa,
2013; McComb& Hanson, 2009; Mubaraka&Blanksbya, 2013; Tozzi, Akre, Fleury-Schubert
&Suris, 2013).University students engage in a wide range of gambling behaviours, including
playing the lottery, poker/cards for money, casino games (i.e., slots/poker machines), horse
racing, betting on sports and internet gambling (Burger, Dahlgren, & MacDonald, 2006; Engwall
et al., 2004; McComb& Hanson, 2009; Moore et al., 2013). Also, the prevalence of adult
gambling in the United States has been estimated at 86% (Potenza et al., 2002). In the US, the
prevalence of adult “lifetime” problem gamblers has been estimated at 3.8%, and “past year”
problem gamblers estimated at 2.8% (Potenza et al., 2002). However, gambling may include
everyday activities that might not normally be associated with connotations of the word
gambling such as raffles sponsored by communities or organizations, bingo, or childhood board
games. Gambling can also be understood as the established practice of staking money or other
valuables on games or events of an uncertain outcome (Binde, 2005, p.3).
Public perceptions of gambling are often misleading. On the one hand, people are usually
aware that gambling poses serious risks to those who are predisposed to gamble excessively.
However, on the other hand, it is also acknowledged that gambling can have positive
consequences for communities (e.g. via providing a source of revenue for sporting clubs or
humanitarian causes) and can be an enjoyable pastime for individuals (Abbott & Cramer, 1993;
Vong, 2009).There is ample evidence showing that people’s attitudes toward gambling are good
predictors of how much people gamble and how likely they are to experience gambling related
problems. A common finding is that those who hold more positive attitudes toward gambling are
more likely to gamble and to experience gambling-related problems (Chiu & Storm, 2010;
Delfabbro, Lambos, King, &Puglies, 2009; Delfabbro&Thrupp, 2003; Orford, Griffiths, Wardle,
Sproston, &Erens, 2009; Wardle et al., 2011; Williams, Connolly, Wood, &Nowatzki, 2006;
Wood & Griffiths, 2004).Nigeria youth especially undergraduates are engaging themselves in
gambling as a means of surviving; this is an intricate issue of special concern as this behaviour
may predispose them to pathological/compulsive gambling (Oyebisi, Alao, &Popoola, 2012). The impact of the extensive availability, advertising, and sanctioning of legalized gambling is of
concern in the fields of public health and addictions. Among adults, the prevalence of disordered
gambling has increased significantly from 1977 to 1993 (Shaffer, Hall, &VanderBilt, 1997).
1.2 Statement of Problems
Gambling and problem gambling have been associated with risky personality, risky
decision-making, and pro-risk attitudes. Such personality traits as sensation-seeking, impulsivity,
and low self-control have been associated with risky behavior in various domains (reviewed in
Zuckerman, 2007). Sensation-seeking describes a preference for varied, stimulating experiences
and a willingness to engage in risk-taking in order to obtain such experiences (Zuckerman,
1994). Impulsivity refers to a tendency to prefer short-term rewards, without planning or
forethought, with the potential for in mediate or future costs (Eysenck, Pearson, Easting,
&Allsop, 1985). Low self-control, like impulsivity, is associated with a tendency to focus on
temptations of the moment, ignoring long-term consequences (Marcus, 2003).
While gambling has, at times, been considered a socially deviant or immoral behaviour in
some cultures and throughout history, the American Psychiatric Association only first defined it
to be a medically diagnosable health problem in 1980 in the 3rd version of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual (3rd ed.; DSM–III; American Psychiatric Association, 1980; Korn& Shaffer,
1999). When gambling behaviour results in behavioural, emotional, relationship, or financial
problems, it may develop into a diagnosable condition known as problem or pathological
gambling. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSMIV-TR) classifies problem and pathological gambling as an impulse control disorder (4th ed.,
text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psyc hiatric Association, 2000). Pathological gambling is
defined as the most serious stage of problem gambling. However, with the May 2013 release of
new diagnostic criteria in the fifth version of the DSM (DSM-V), pathological gambling has
been identified as a behavior that can lead to addiction. The impetus for classifying gambling as
an addiction came from health providers and researchers who identified similarities between
problem gambling and substance abuse (O’Brien, 2010).Various forms of risky behavior,
including substance use, dangerous driving, promiscuous sex, and antisocial behavior co-occur
within individuals (reviewed in Mishra &Lalumière, 2008, 2009, 2011;Mishra, Lalumière,
Morgan, & Williams, 2011). Gambling may be part of this general pattern of risk- acceptance.Gambling has been associated with various forms of risky behavior (e.g., Martins,
Tavares, daSilva Lobo, Galetti, &Gentil, 2004; Powell, Hardoon, Derevensky, & Gupta, 1999;
reviewed in VanBrunschot, 2009), and shares correlates associated with general risky behavior
(reviewed in Stinchfield,2004).
Few researchers such as Oyebisi, Alao and Popoola (2012), Gupta and Derevensky
(2000) and Wiber and Potenza, (2006) have all carried out empirical research on the concept of
gambling. However findings of some of this work lack generalisation to the population other
than which sampling was selected. For instance, the study of Wiber and Potenza, (2006) was able
to established significant effect of gender and peer group on gambling behaviour, they further
claim that the findings of their study should be interpreted with caution as they suggest more
research should be carried out to established the reliability of their findings. Therefore, this study
will examine the prevalence and determinants of gambling behaviour among undergraduate
students of Federal University Oye Ekiti, Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
Thus, the study will answer the following research questions
i. What is the pattern of gambling behaviour among undergraduate students of
ii. What are the risks factors predisposing the undergraduate students of FUOYE into
gambling behaviour?
iii. What are the consequences of gambling behaviour among undergraduates of
iv. What are possible solutions to prevent gambling practice among the FUOYE’s
undergraduate students?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the prevalence and determinants of gambling
behaviour among undergraduate students of Federal University of Oye, Nigeria. The specific
objectives of the study are to
i. Examine the patterns of gambling behaviour among undergraduate students of
ii. Determine the risks factors predisposing the undergraduate students of FUOYE into
gambling behaviour.
iii. Examine the consequences of gambling behaviour among undergraduates of FUOYE.
iv. Explore possible solutions to prevent gambling practice among the FUOYE’s
undergraduate students.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this present study will provide people with empirical data which can be
used in decision making process concerning the prevalence and pattern of gambling behaviour
among undergraduates. The findings of the study will benefit government, sociologist, students,
and stakeholders by providing them with empirical data which can be useful in formulation of
appropriate policy which can be used to curb the menace of gambling behaviour among Nigerian
Undergraduates. The study will also add to body of knowledge on the concept of gambling
1.6Limitation of the Study
This study had several limitations. The study was cross-sectional, so, causal conclusions
cannot be drawn. The investigation was carried out with undergraduate students of the Federal
University of Oye-Ekiti and the inclusion of other undergraduate students who practice
gamblingcould have resulted in different results. University students are not representative of
young adults in general, and gambling behaviours and its risk factors may be different in other
sectors of the population. The assessment of gambling behaviours could have included the
degree of problem or pathological gambling and other categories of gambling such as internet
gambling, which have been found relevant in previous studies


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