Gambling can be fun but it can also turn into a very big problem very quickly. College students are at a higher risk than the general public for gambling problems. Students gamble because
it is exciting and they think they have an easy chance to get rich quick. Unfortunately, many people end up in debt and become isolated from their friends.
Gambling includes betting on the following:
- Poker or other card games
- Dice, video or board games
- Car, horse, or dog racing
- Lottery games
- Internet games using credit cards
- Slot or electronic poker machines
- Stock market
- School, professional, or fantasy sports
Signs that someone may have an issue with gambling:
- Defensive when questioned about gambling behavior
- Missing class, dropping grades, missing other commitments
- Unusual interest in point spreads, obscure games, health status of athletes
- Selling personal belongings to get money
- Asking friends or family for loans to get bailed out of desperate financial situations such as debts, unpaid bills, other financial troubles
- Reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures
A friend is selling some of his important and valuable belongings. He has also asked other friends to borrow money. He has been spending an inordinate amount of time online and appears to be overly invested in the outcomes of sporting events. What do you do?
Make the first move:
- Talk to him. Let him know that you’re concerned about him.
- Don’t loan him money, and encourage others to do the same.
- Know some resources available for him to get help.
- If you choose to gamble, do so responsibly.
- Respect others who choose not to gamble.
- Determine what an acceptable loss is before beginning. Don’t spend more than you can stand to lose.
- Never borrow money to gamble.
- Don’t “chase losses” or gamble to make up what you have lost.
- Gamble only when sober.
- Limit your time gambling, both in length and frequency.
We express our appreciation to the University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program for allowing us to use modified versions of their STEP UP! Program content in this USI campus initiative.