Online Gambling and College Students

Online Gambling and College Students


Gambling, whether in a land-based casino or online, involves wagering something of value on a random event. Gambling is illegal without a permit and can result in fines or imprisonment. Many countries, including the United States, restrict gambling. However, some nations allow residents to participate in online sports betting and casinos. There is some controversy over the morality of gambling. Some people consider it an enjoyable activity, while others see it as a threat to their well-being. The problem is that many gamblers don’t realize their problem until it is too late.

In addition to the issue of morality, there is also the concern that gambling can lead to addiction. This is particularly true for young adults who may be unaware of the dangers. Parents are urged to pay attention to their children’s behavior at home and when they are at college. It is important to set limits and overcome peer pressure. Responsible parents will also demonstrate when to walk away.

A study conducted by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) noted that college students are more likely to have gambling problems than other age groups. They noted that colleges have long held partnerships with alcohol and credit card companies, which can attract students. Unfortunately, these partnerships can put students in financial trouble. Consequently, the NCPG has released guidelines for colleges that partner with gambling companies. Specifically, the NCPG urges college leaders to consider the risks of promoting gambling to students, and to offer education about its potential effects.

In the present study, self-report data was analyzed to investigate the relationship between problem gambling and other behavioral indicators. Gambling behaviors were assessed using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), a nine-item scale. Those with PGSI scores above a certain level are considered to be exhibiting hazardous gambling behaviors. Moreover, individuals with higher scores are more likely to have a history of indebtedness and to have had a recent gambling experience.

Participants were recruited through a structured web survey. Gender, age, and gambling types were reported as descriptive variables. Overall, the proportions of moderate-risk and high-risk gamblers were 16 percent and five percent, respectively. Proportions of problem gamblers were 13%. Both genders were represented, with a higher proportion of men in the sample.

The findings suggest that gambling is problematic and should be considered by parents. But they also call for further research in different pandemic phases, as well as more objective measures of gambling behavior. As such, future follow-up studies will employ the same recruitment methods, and use new measurements of gambling behavior.

While the previous study measured the gambling involvement of the general population, the current study focused on the online gambling population. During the COVID-19 crisis, a small percentage of the population migrated from land-based gambling to online gambling. Although the population data are limited, the results of the current study show that there was a measurable rise in the prevalence of gambling during this period.

The findings indicate that problem gambling was present during the COVID-19 period, with the highest rates among the more risky subgroups. Nonetheless, these patterns were consistent with the previous study.