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The Normalization of College Gambling

Within the last year, 75 percent of American college students participated in some form of gambling. Now, the vast majority of those students most likely gambled responsibly. But did you know that roughly six percent of college students are dealing with a serious gambling problem? Compared to the general population, American college students are at least two times more likely to be problem gamblers. Let’s dive deeper and explore how gambling has become normalized on college campuses in the US.

College Campuses: The Perfect Storm for Problem Gambling

When you put a bunch of recent high school graduates and twenty-somethings together in one place, risky behavior is almost inevitable. Everyone knows how common partying and binge-drinking are among college kids — which is why most universities have policies on student alcohol use in place. Yet only 22 percent of colleges and universities have formal policies related to student gambling.

Research has shown that teens and young, college-aged adults are more impulsive than older adults, and that younger people have a higher risk of developing gambling disorders. In other words, college students may be some of the most vulnerable individuals when it comes to problem gambling. These circumstances, combined with other factors such as peer pressure and public acceptance, have helped transform college campuses into places where gambling has become normalized.   

What Resources Are Available to College Students With Gambling Problems?

While college students face an increased risk of developing gambling problems, most are unfortunately limited to the same resources as the general population. While these are certainly helpful, more resources are needed on college campuses specifically, due to the disproportionate rate of problem gamblers and individuals who are at risk of developing gambling problems.

Whether it’s the internet facilitating teenage gambling in Freehold, NJ, or peer pressure pushing college students to develop gambling problems, we must ensure that resources are available to those who need help with disordered gambling. If you are a college student with a gambling problem and you are unsure how to address the issue, we can help. Call our confidential helpline at 800-GAMBLER anytime, day or night, to find the support, treatment, and hope you need to get through this.