Dissertation Defense by Michael A. Kelley
Date and Time
Thursday, April 25, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Room 139
San Diego, CA 92110
*USD graduate students and faculty are welcome to attend.
GAMBLING IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: A CASE STUDY
Legal gambling operations in the United States are based on public policy decisions. Although research has shown that gambling intensity levels are related to a number of individual disorders and impose significant economic costs on society, the data is incomplete. For example, while research indicates that certain demographic categories and proximity to places of gambling are predictors of high gambling rates, there is little information on the impact of economic conditions on gambling intensity, as well as the prevalence of such behavior in specific locations. With multiple gambling venues, a growing population of the demographic groups associated with higher gambling rates, and an economy impacted by the Great Recession, San Diego County is a fertile site for a case study.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of the current prevalence rates in San Diego County, a 120 question survey was developed and administered to a sample of 13,000 registered voters via a web-based delivery system with the goal of examining the gambling intensity levels within the county – paying particular attention to the Hispanic, Asian, and over the age of 55 demographic groups. The survey also examined the impact that the economy had on gambling intensity. Using a combination of descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and non-parametric tests, results revealed that county intensity levels are high. In addition, gender was a significant predictor of past year participation, age was a significant predictor in lifetime participation, and proximity of the last gambling experience was a factor in intensity levels. Prevalence rates for Hispanics were the highest among the demographic groups, although Asians and the 55-84 age groups also had relatively high prevalence rates. The study also found the recession impacted the number of gamblers, venues visited, and the number of visits to casinos.
Taken together, the results of this study could be used to inform policy discussions on the expansion of gambling in California to include the internet, as well as to set a baseline for state-based longitudinal studies. The results also identified a need for more information on the gambling habits of California’s fastest growing demographic group – the Hispanic population.