According to a combination of national studies, about one in 20 college students have a problem with their gambling (Shaffer & Hall, 2001). Is the problem something that students eventually grow out of, or is the high rate of college problem gamblers due to all of the recent trends?
While the cause is unknown, there are some important things we all need to know about this issue. College students need to have tools on how to gamble responsibly. An estimated 5.6% of college students are problem gamblers (Shaffer, 2001). This is more than double the rate of problem gambling among the overall adult population.
A popular type of gambling among young adults is online slots. Online slots players, compared to other types of gamblers, are more likely to gamble on the Internet. From poker sites to sports betting sites and more, online gambling is easy to find and makes billions a year and can be accessed just about anywhere. But why are so many people bothered by the idea of online gambling?
- There's no limitation on availability. At home, in pajamas, it could hardly be more available.
- There's no limitation on time. People playing at home can play hours and hours, any time of day or night, before stopping.
- There's little limitation on money. With credit, a whole lot of money can be won--and lost--before stopping.
Things students need to keep in mind
Online gambling can be addictive. Because Internet gambling is a solitary activity, people can gamble uninterrupted and undetected for hours at a time. Gambling in social isolation and using credit to gamble may be risk factors for developing gambling problems.
Tips for Responsible Gambling
- Gamble for fun.
- Think of the money you lose as the cost of entertainment.
- Set a dollar limit and stick to it.
- Set a time limit and stick to it.
- Accept losing as part of the game.
- Don't borrow money to gamble.
- Don't let gambling interfere with family, friends, or work.
- Don't "chase" (gamble to win back losses).
- Don't use gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain.