Study Finds College Students Have Mixed Views on Gambling and Whether Casinos Are Exciting

Posted on: July 22, 2019, 10:12h. 

Last updated on: July 22, 2019, 10:59h.

A new study finds that college students are split as to whether they find casinos exciting, and if gambling is an activity they enjoy.

college students casinos gambling millennial
Millennials and college students aren’t exactly sure if casinos are exciting enough to receive their entertainment money. (Image: Nate Smallwood/Tribune Review)

Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) conducted the pool with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey to find what does and doesn’t attract college students to both land-based casinos and mobile gaming offerings.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they find gambling interesting or exciting, while 46 percent said they are not interested or complete not interested. Twelve percent said they weren’t sure.

The LIGHT survey offered respondents a $10 Amazon gift card in exchange for completing the roughly 10-minute questionnaire. A total of 502 college students aged 18 to 25 responded, with 64 percent saying they have gambled at least once.

This information is useful in order for the council to address trends to strengthen their prevention and treatment messages,” Council on Compulsive Gambling Executive Director Neva Pryor told the Press of Atlantic City.

Despite more than six in 10 saying they’ve gambled before, 59 percent said they’re funding their college education through student loans.

Millennial Moods

Much of the gaming industry – from casinos to equipment manufacturers – is madly focused on the millennial. Pew Research Center considers anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) to be part of the demographic that now accounts for the largest generation in the US labor force.

The general thought is that millennials don’t fancy the traditional slot machine anywhere near as much as their parents and grandparents. Casinos and gaming manufacturers have franticly been trying to develop the casino floor staple of the future, and skill-based gaming products continue to evolve.

YouGov – an online market research firm – found last year that 47 percent of US millennials believe casinos are depressing. Just 38 percent of those aged 65 and older said they too find casinos gloomy.

Surprising Data

While much money has been invested in trying to build a gaming machine that entices masses of millennials, the LIGHT study surprisingly found that slot machines are still king for the age group who are presently gambling.

Of the college students who said they have gambled, 52 percent said they have put money into a slot machine. The lottery is next at 42.6 percent, and casino table games third at 30 percent. Less than five percent said they had played slot machines or table games online. Twenty-eight percent of those who reported gambling activity said they have placed a wager on a sporting event.

The good news for the Council on Compulsive Gambling is that the 2019 study found that problem gambling rates among college students have remained relatively stable.

“Ten respondents in the study reported that gambling has caused serious problems in the past three months. This represents 3 percent of respondents who have gambled and two percent of total respondents,” the report explained. “This is similar to the results from a previous report on college gambling behavior that was done in 2016.”