Social factors influencing participation of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga university of science and technology students in Sports betting in Bondo sub-county, Kenya
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The legalization of betting in Kenya has resulted in widespread availability of betting in the society compared to when gambling was exclusive to casinos and clubs. A poll carried out in six African countries established that sports betting prevalence was highest among Kenyan youth, at 76%, notably among university students, with regrettable consequences. Despite being a social activity, inadequate studies had explicitly examined the social contexts of sports betting among university students. Demographic profiles were yet to be examined in existing studies on sports betting yet demographic characteristics had been identified as risk factors for gambling in general. The influence of subjective norms such as family, peer and social pressures on betting behaviour had not been adequately examined. The relationship between marketing and the attitudes of sports bettors was also not well understood. The main objective of the study was to examine the social factors influencing the participation of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology students in sports betting. The specific objectives were to; examine the influence of demographic profiles on the betting behaviour of students; establish the association between subjective norms and the betting behaviour of students and to assess the association between marketing and the attitude of students towards betting. The study was anchored on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1985). A correlational research design was adopted. A sample size of 385 respondents out of a target population of 10,090 undergraduate students was derived from Yamane’s Formula (1967). Stratified random sampling was utilized to ensure proportional representation of each school according to its population. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a structured questionnaire and a focus group discussion guide. Data for objective 1 were analysed using logistic regression to establish the predictors of betting behaviour where P-values of <0.05 were considered significant and the odds ratio captured to show the magnitude and influence of variables on betting behaviour. Chi-square test was carried out for objectives 2 and 3 where P-values of <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data and results reported verbatim. Out of the 385 respondents, 323 were bettors while 62 were none bettors. Among the bettors, 231 were male while 92 were female. The demographic profiles were all predictors of betting except for the age of respondents. There was a significant relationship between subjective norms and the betting behaviour of students as well as between marketing and the attitude of respondents towards sports betting. The study concluded that the variables examined were all significant in determining the decision of students to bet. The study recommended that the government should come up with tailored intervention programmes that target youth of all ages, that awareness be created among parents on the harms associated with sports betting and that promotion of betting during sporting events be prohibited to discourage the association between watching football and betting because of the strong link between this and increased levels of betting involvement. Further research for other youth populations to determine the factors that influence their betting behaviour was required, a comparative study was necessary to establish whether social motivations to bet supersede intrinsic motivations and a content analysis of betting advertisements should be carried out to examine the features that trigger betting behaviour among the youth.