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Online Casino News - October, 2009

Colleges Urged to Focus on Problem Online Gambling


  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

October 5, 2009

There's no denying that problem and underage gambling exisits - both in the land-based and online gambling sectors. While problem gambling still seems to be more directed at brick 'n mortar casinos, in today's "wired" age, where fourth graders are carrying around cell phones, concerns about underage gambling are generally more directed to the internet and at online casinos.

But what about college students, who for the most part, are of legal age to gamble online, but due to their youth, are oftentimes still thought of as being underage, or at least, not mature enough to gamble at an online casino or an internet poker room? It's a tricky matter, to say the least, which is precisely why the US Institute of Research on Gambling Disorders developed the Task Force on College Gambling Policies.

The latest report to come from the task force is recommending that college administrators treat gambling as a health issue, including the development of health policies to prevent and treat problem gambling with college students. In similar fashion to the way in which university health services provide prevention and treatment counseling services for alcohol usage, the task force is calling for colleges to do the same for addictive behaviors like gambling.

The only difficulty, which the Institute's Director, Christine Reilly, contends, is that information on exactly how online gambling is affecting college students is lacking. The only thing that is known, broadly speaking, is that college students have unprecedented access to the internet, and that online gambling operators are targeting them as a customer base.

Of course, governmental regulation, especially in the U.S., would help tremendously. But until that happens, the task force says it is up to colleges and universities to begin recognizing that a problem does indeed exist, and to get on the ball in creating in-house policies that would help college students who are no doubt venturing into an unregulated sea of online casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites.



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