Drivers and socio-economic effects of gambling among final year students at Makerere University
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Background:Earlier studies provide information on general perceptions towards gambling and focus on the general youth population. Even though many of these studies carried out abroad identify university students as an at-risk group for gambling, very little information is known on what exactly drives this population to engage in the practice. Aside from this, emphasis has been made onthe economic effects of gambling while ignoring social effects on those that engage in it. This study was therefore carried out to provide in-depth information on the practiceamong Makerere University final year students with lived experiences describing what exactly drives them into gambling as well as the socio-economic effects of the practice on them. Methodology:In order to get in-depth information on the practice, a phenomenological qualitative research design was chosen. A total of 9 participants were selected using a combination of purposive and snow-ball samplingtechniques.Data were collected using in-depth phenomenological interviews as well as unstructured observations. Findings:This study found financial inadequacy as the chief driver for university students to engage in gambling. On the other hand, gambling had numerous negative effects which included loss of money, addiction, attraction of unreliable friendships, poor and delayed completion of school assignments. However, students strongly upheld the few positive effects in particularly partial financial independence which immediatelyfulfilled their chief need of engaging in the practice for financial benefit. Conclusion:Finally, this study show that University students’ engagement in gambling is mainly out of need for survival. It concludes that there are there are risks numerous risks involved which negatively affect the socio-economic wellbeing of students. Recommendation: This study suggested recommendations such as provision of financial literacy so that students can identify better survival mechanisms.