University Uses Gambling To Teach About Gambling

Published on: October 29, 2008 

In an effort to help people understand that gambling could be addicting, universities are using a unique method to pass this message on to their students.  Instead of having students simply sit in their dorm rooms surfing the Internet when they are not studying, they can spend their money playing online poker games, games that the university has approved for them to play.  Representatives of the Responsible Gambling Council have set up a booth in the Saint John’s Ward Chipman Library at the University of New Brunswick.  The organization created an ‘interactive problem gambling awareness program’ called Know The Score and the booth is being sponsored by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.  Students have been invited to come to the booth and learn about problem gambling by...gambling.

The program is designed to interact with the students and supply them with information regarding the risk associated with gambling.  Kathleen Baldwin, the bilingual project co-ordinator for the gaming council, and five Know The Score workers dressed in red shirts stop each prospective student participant outside the kiosk and ask them a five question quiz before allowing them to use the program.  "All of the questions are research-based so we know that these are some of the myths out there about gambling," Baldwin said.

All of the questions asked are based on research the Responsible Gambling Council performed.  The very first question students are asked is whether or not they think online poker is a good way to make extra money.  According to research, one in five young adults believes that it is a good way.  The second question, a myth according to Baldwin, is if students think going back to gambling the next time to win money back is a good idea.

One of the students, Sam White, stopped and took the quiz, admitting that he had played online poker previously.  White admitted that he was getting addicted and stopped, recognizing the forming addiction before it could get out of control.  Baldwin states that the quiz is designed to help students recognize the ‘symptoms’ of gambling addiction and where they can go on the college campus to get help.

Said Baldwin, "We go through the quiz with them to make sure they have the right information.  We're hoping they leave more knowledgeable and can recognize some of the signs in their friends or themselves."  Students who take the quiz at the booth are eligible to win a $1,500 scholarship simply for answering the questions.

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