The importance of competition and other motive statements in explaining gambling behavior is an important but controversial issue. This study operationalizes several types of motive statements related to sports participation, and then, in a novel methodological strategy, applies these as independent variables in a causal model of sport betting among college athletes. Based on questionnaires from 492 athletes at three colleges, findings showed that competitive and extrinsic motives for sport predict sports wagering. This is the case even in a multivariate equation that includes several control variables drawn from previous studies of gambling in the general population.
Timothy J. Curry and Robert M. Jiobu are with the Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 300 Bricker Hall, 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1353.