The Nature and Level of Criminal Activity among Pathological Gamblers

Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Richard C. McCorkle

Number of Pages



The rapid proliferation of gambling in the United States over the past two decades has sparked considerable public debate. Gaming opponents argue that the expansion of legalized gambling destroys individual lives, wrecks families, and increases crime in the community. While the link between gambling and criminal behavior has been examined through surveys of the general population, little research has been conducted in criminal populations. This is a study of pathological gambling among arrestee populations. It attempts to answer two basic questions. First do pathological gamblers have a social and criminal history profile that distinguishes them from non pathological gamblers? Second, is the nature and level of criminal offending by pathological gamblers different from that of arrestees who do not gamble compulsively? These two questions are explored using data collected in detention facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada during a federally-sponsored arrestee drug monitoring program. Findings suggest that there is no distinguishing profile between pathological and nonpathological gamblers in this arrestee population. However, pathological gamblers do differ from non-pathological gamblers by committing a higher mean number of violent and property offences. The findings also support the expectations of previous researchers by reporting a greater prevalence of pathological gamblers in the arrestee population.


Activities; Criminal; Gamblers; Level; Nature; Pathological

Controlled Subject



Higher Education

File Format


File Size

1484.8 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




This material has been removed at the request of the author.


This item is not available in Digital Scholarship@UNLV. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by contacting us at digitalscholarship@unlv.edu


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/