According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 75 percent of college students spend time and money gambling, both legally and illegally. About 18 percent gamble weekly, and of those, 6 percent have a gambling disorder. Lottery tickets and pull-tabs, card games (including raffles and charitable small stakes gambling), sports betting pools and games of skill (e.g., bowling, basketball, pool, golf, backgammon, darts) are the most frequently chosen gambling activities by college students.
As campus administrators, faculty, and staff, implementing policies and promoting campus-wide awareness of college problem gambling can help maintain a healthy campus and enable students who are struggling with a potential problem to receive the support they need.
Students who face problem gambling in college are more susceptible to participate in self-deprecating activities such as using illegal drugs, driving under the influence and other risk-oriented behaviors. Be aware of the associated warning signs:
- Gambling longer than planned
- Gambling until the last dollar is gone
- Thoughts of gambling preoccupy daily life
- Bills begin to go unpaid
- Attempts to stop gambling are unsuccessful
- Criminal activity to fuel gambling
- Borrowing money from friends and family
- Feelings of depression or suicide after losing
- Feelings of remorse after gambling
- Gambling to meet financial obligations