Title

Religion and Problem Gambling in the U.S.

Keywords

faith, lotteries, casinos, worship services, mental health, Christianity, regression analysis

Abstract

The growth of legal gambling in the United States over the past 10-15 years has been phenomenal. This growth has directed increased attention to the potential problems of gambling behavior. For example, many religious organizations have spoken out in opposition to legalized gambling and discouraged members from gambling. However, little research has addressed the impact of religious practices or beliefs on gambling behavior or problems. This study uses a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. (n=2,406) to test the proposition that attendance at religious services and importance of faith in God attenuate the likelihood of problem gambling. The results of a Poisson GEE model indicate that frequent attenders are less likely than others to report gambling problems, but that importance of faith in God has no effect on problem gambling. This suggests that the social integration afforded by religious attendance is more important than interpersonal religious salience in affecting problem forms of gambling.

Original Publication Citation

Hoffmann, John P. 2000. “Religion and Problem Gambling in the United States.” Review of Religious Research 41(4): 488-509.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2000-6

Publisher

Review of Religious Research

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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