Socio-economic factors influencing participation in gambling among the university students in Uganda: a case study of Makerere University
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This study was conducted in Makerere University. The major objective of this study was to assess the socio-economic factors influencing participation in gambling among university students in Uganda using a case study of Makerere University. The study specifically evaluated the extent does the level of income, attitude towards gambling and access to internet influence participation in gambling and betting among Makerere University students. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey design and simple random sampling was used to draw a sample of respondents from the School of Statistics and Planning. The study findings indicated that 65% of the respondents were males, 71% of the respondents were aged 18 – 24 years, 25% were aged 25 – 29 years while 4% were aged 30 years and above, 45% of the respondents were in year two of their studies, 33% were finalists while 22% were in year one, 53% of the respondents were staying in hostels, 31% were staying in halls of residence while 8% were staying in rentals and the rest were commuting from home, 68% of the respondents had ever participated in gambling activities while only 32% had never. Chi-square test of association found a significant relationship level of income of students (upkeep) and their involvement in gambling activities at 0.05 level of significance (p-value=0.005). A unit increase in upkeep amount as associated with a 0.152 increase in chances of participating in gambling and betting activities. The findings also indicated a significant relationship between access to free internet and participation in gambling and betting at 0.05 level of significance (p-value=0.002). Students who have access to free internet are highly likely to participate in gambling as compared to those without. However, the study found that attitude of a student does not influence participation in gambling activities at 0.05 level of significance (p-value = 0.711). The study concluded that upkeep given to a student, age of a student, sex of the student and access to free internet significantly influences whether a student participates in gambling and betting activities while the attitude of a student towards betting and gambling does not. The study recommended that massive sensitization especially during the fresher’s orientation should be done about dangers of getting involved in gambling and betting activities while at the university and given good tactics and how to productively use the internet.