Authors contributed equally to this article; names are listed in alphabetical order.
Religion and Gambling Among U.S. Adults: Exploring the Role of Traditions, Beliefs, Practices, and Networks*
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume 50, Issue 1, pages 82–102, March 2011
How to Cite
Ellison, C. G. and McFarland, M. J. (2011), Religion and Gambling Among U.S. Adults: Exploring the Role of Traditions, Beliefs, Practices, and Networks. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50: 82–102. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01553.x
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2011
- social control;
- biblical inerrancy;
Opportunities for legal gambling of various types have expanded rapidly in the United States in recent years. Our study develops a series of theoretical arguments linking multiple dimensions of religious involvement—traditions, beliefs, practices, and networks—with the frequency of gambling activity. Relevant hypotheses are then tested using data from the Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity (PS-ARE), a recent nationwide probability sample of U.S. adults. Findings underscore the importance of co-religionist networks in deterring gambling. In addition, biblical inerrantists and members of conservative Protestant and sectarian groups are relatively disinclined to gamble. Religious attendance is also inversely associated with gambling frequency. Differences in gambling by religious tradition are amplified among persons with strong co-religionist networks. Several study limitations are noted, and promising future research directions on the dynamics and functioning of church-based networks are identified.