Social capital; gambling; problem gambling; bowling alone


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Gaming Law

Document Type

Original Research Article


In his acclaimed 2000 book Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam documents a disturbing social trend of the broadest kind. Putnam cites a wide variety of data that indicate that over the past fifty years, Americans have become increasingly socially disengaged. In developing this theme, Putnam specifically cites the increase in casino gambling (and especially machine gambling) as evidence in support of his argument. Building on the empirical and theoretical work of Putnam, this exploratory article examines the subphenomenon of "gambling alone" by exploring sample survey data on solitary and social gambling behavior among adults who reside in Las Vegas, Nevada. Specifically, to further understand these phenomena, a number of demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral variables are examined for their explanatory power in predicting solitary vs. social gambling behavior.