Online Addiction Affecting Colleges Students

Published on: January 22, 2008 

It’s not surprise that college students engage in alcohol and illegal drugs on campus.  It is part of the ritual of moving from High School student to adult.  Unfortunately, online gambling is also becoming a problem and is quickly moving up the scale to addiction.  As a matter of fact, almost sixty-three percent of male student-athletes have admitted to gambling on everything from scratch-off card games to the state lottery to playing online poker.

According to experts, gambling – both real life and online – has become the number two addiction behind alcohol.  Athletes seem to have the most problem and it stems from their innate competitiveness.  They are in it for the thrill of the game, not the making of money.  Almost a hundred percent of the offenders are young men between 18 and 22, and also include undergraduate students.  Some of them are even showing signs of having a serious gambling problem.  While some have sought help, others have not, refusing to admit they have a problem.  

Online gambling makes it easy for students and adults alike to gamble discreetly.  It also causes students to neglect their studies, sports, and social life.  They have racked up substantial credit card debt, adding to their student loan obligations and sinking them in debt so deep that they will fight the rest of their lives getting back out.  The most popular online betting sites are ones that take bets on sports games, college and professional.  

This also leads to problems if the student is an athlete who gets caught for placing bets on games in which they are playing.  Suspension and expulsion have been some of the punishments enacted against these students.  Many of them have lost their scholarships and are now left in worse condition than before.

What is to blame?  Experts point the finger at the glamorization of poker on television and in the movies, while others blame the ease of getting addicting by playing online.  In 2006 the federal government put into effect a law prohibiting banks and credit card companies from moving money from a students account to online gambling sites.  While this helped marginally, the more determined students have found other ways to get the money to the site.  The numbers of young adults gambling online has dropped since the ban, but the problem is still running rampant.

Look at the scandal the Ohio University baseball team is currently embroiled in.  It’s the perfect example of how online betting is still an addiction for young people.

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