Understanding the Social Aspects of Gambling


Whether you’re a devoted poker player or you’re a casual gambler, gambling can be a very social activity. It’s important to understand the different types of gambling and the laws that govern them. You should also know the differences between legal and illegal gambling.

Legal vs illegal

Getting your hands on a hefty jackpot in Las Vegas or Atlantic City is no small feat. However, the aforementioned states have their fair share of shady casinos in a town, a.g. if your definition of legal is playing a prank on your spouse. Fortunately for Nebraskans in the know, there are a number of reputable casinos in town, the majority of which are located in the Omaha metroplex. Most of the casinos are within easy spitting distance of one another, making travel by car a no brainer.


Increasingly, researchers are exploring the social aspects of gambling. This research has found that gambling is often an expression of personal character, a collective character, and an external context. While the impact of gambling may vary depending on the context, certain factors are known to contribute to the intensification of gambling.

For example, in Papua New Guinea, gambling was a ‘natural’ part of everyday life. It was not until European contact that gambling came to be a popular pastime.

Research on college student gamblers

Despite the popularity of gambling among college students, there is limited research on why these students engage in gambling. In fact, most research has focused on clinical populations.

In this study, 184 undergraduate college student gamblers participated in introductory psychology classes at a large northwestern university in the U.S. Participants included freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Several motivational factors were explored.

Although a majority of college students reported gambling responsibly, some were found to engage in gambling for more serious reasons. Problem gambling was characterized by disruption in life and other negative consequences. Some students with gambling problems also engage in binge drinking and illegal drugs. In addition, they often suffer serious financial and emotional consequences.