Higher-education officials, students, and their parents might be able to better identify the signs of gambling addiction on campus thanks to a new website that provides reams of research and advice on how to help students with a bona fide gambling problem.
Launched March 29 by the National Center for Responsible Gambling (NCRG), CollegeGambling.org has facts sheets, research papers, and tips aimed at college health professionals, campus administrators, parents, and students hoping to identify and treat a gambling disorder before it ruins a student’s financial and academic life.
One of the website’s most prominent statistics is the percentage of U.S. colleges and universities that have any kind of gambling policy: 22 percent. Meanwhile, three in four college students said they have gambled during the past year.
College officials often propose ways to curb underage and excessive drinking, drug use, and unprotected sex on campus, but gambling is usually left out of these policy making discussions, said Christine Reilly, senior research director for NCRG.
“It is a mental health disorder and it should be given the same weight of other issues colleges worry about,” she said, adding that gambling wasn’t classified as a disorder until 1980. An absence of gambling policies in much of higher education, she said, “is a reflection of the public’s lack of understanding that this is a … disorder. There still hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to it.”
CollegeGambling.org has a quiz for students who want to know more about the symptoms of gambling disorders.