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GAMBLING BEHAVIOR AND COLLEGE STUDENTS: BRIDGES TO OTHER BEHAVIORS?. GAMBLING BEHAVIOR AND COLLEGE STUDENTS: BRIDGES TO OTHER BEHAVIORS?. Annual Conference of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) November 5, 2012 in Memphis, TN.

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GAMBLING BEHAVIOR AND COLLEGE STUDENTS:

BRIDGES TO OTHER BEHAVIORS?

GAMBLING BEHAVIOR AND COLLEGE STUDENTS:

BRIDGES TO OTHER BEHAVIORS?

Annual Conference of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA)

November 5, 2012 in Memphis, TN

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Many risky and addictive behaviors take center stage on today's college campuses. The issue of college student gambling - often deemed "the silent addiction" or "the dirty little secret"- does not receive the same level of discussion.

To that end, this presentation will offer participants a "primer" on the topic and share facts and statistics from the literature, explore the proliferation of all forms of gambling, present task force recommendations and best practices, and delve into a case study or two.

Introductory Comments: Relation to the topic

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Gambling opportunities, once only available in a few states, have proliferated nationwide during the past 30 years with the expansion of lotteries, casinos, and Internet gambling.

Therefore, today's college students are exposed to not only drinking and drug use but also gambling, both on campus and in the surrounding community.

Facts and Statistics

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The current diagnosis for pathological gambling includes several criteria similar to alcohol and drug dependence: increasing tolerance; symptoms of withdrawal if gambling stopped or reduced and inability to stop or reduce gambling.

The most recent research estimates that 6% of college students in the U.S. have a serious gambling problem that can result in psychological difficulties, unmanageable debt and failing grades.

Facts and Statistics

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Comorbiditiy

The presence of one or more disorders (or diseases) in addition to a primary disease or disorder, or the effect of such additional disorders or diseases

If one addiction is alcohol, they may also have an addiction to gambling or some other addictive behavior.

Facts and Statistics

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Approximately 75% of college students gambled during the past year (whether legally or illegally) with about 18% gambling weekly or more frequently.

Despite the prevalence of on-campus gambling, only 22% of U.S. colleges and universities have formal policies on gambling.

Facts and Statistics

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Relevance of Topic to Student Affairs

There is a general lack of awareness among college administrators about college student gambling. Shaffer, Forman, Scanlan, and Smith (2000) found most college representatives didn’t know about any student gambling related problems on their campus.

What gets attention:

alcohol and drug use and sexual activity.

What is ignored:

student gambling!

How many of you can name an existing policy or regulation on gambling?

How many of you have programming sessions on student gambling?

Do they center around NCAA regulations only or for all?

How effective are they?

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Relevance of Topic to Student Affairs

What is the easiest way for college students to gamble?

Online!

Some legal background for online gambling:

Interstate Wire Act of 1961 prohibited interstate betting over the telephone, telegraph, and other available means by wire transmissions. (18 U.S.C. §1084)

This effectively prohibited online gambling within the U.S., or so we thought.

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Relevance of Topic to Student Affairs

In 2006, Congress just before the mid-term elections, passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA). (31 U.S.C.§§ 5361–5367) It specifically prohibited gambling businesses from accepting payments that involves the internet, tribal gaming and fantasy leagues are excluded.

Black Friday hits the U.S. online poker community:

On April 15, 2011 the U.S. Government seized and shut down immediately the websites Poker Stars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker/UltimateBet and accused the firms of bank fraud and money laundering. This caused a ripple effect in chilling advertisements for the poker TV shows and magazines as well. (United States v. Scheinberg, 10 Cr. 336 (2011)

So online gambling, specifically poker, will never be legal in the U.S.?

Not quite…

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Relevance of Topic to Student Affairs

Quietly the day after Christmas in 2011, the Department of Justice declared that every form of online intra-state online gambling is legal under federal law. Maybe even games interstate and internationally! (Seitz, 2011)

They in essence said the Wire Act, the basis for UIGEA only relate to sports betting. If the state legalizes online gambling, it is legal in that state.

Already DC, Delaware, and Nevada have legalized it in their states. They will use a geo-tracking “fence” to keep it within their state boundaries. No federal action to either support or roll back this decision is expected anytime soon due to the gridlock in Washington.

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Proliferation of Forms of Gambling

Higher Education has, from the colonial period of America on, used gambling to justify their needs.

Did you know Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and William and Mary were all partially funded at the outset from lottery sales to the public?

In the present day, In the state of Georgia, every high school student who achieves a 3.0 GPA gets 80% of their tuition covered at any public college in the state, due to lottery sales.

Whether we think about it or not, gambling influences Higher Education more than we know.

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Proliferation of Forms of Gambling

The 3 tenets of our college or university structure:

teaching, research, and service

are all influenced or support gambling.

HOW?

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Proliferation of Forms of Gambling

Teaching- courses in resort, casino, and hospitality management in states that have casinos

Research- Academic Research Centers on gambling: pathological/problem, the economic impact, etc.

Scholarly journals devoted to Gambling (currently 2 peer reviewed ones (Journal of Gambling Studies and Journal of Gambling Issues)

Service- Ever attend a career fair and see a casino representative? It happens a lot, management of casinos pays well and love to recruit our business students.

(McClellan, & Winters 2006)

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Proliferation of Forms of Gambling

College Athletics

Betting on NCAA sports is a BILLION dollar industry.

This is just the legal bets placed in Nevada, the illegal bookmaking business such as what occurs in campus fraternities and residence halls dwarfs this easily!

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Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

Risk-Taking refers to the tendency to engage in behaviors that have the potential to be harmful or dangerous, yet at the same time provide the opportunity for some kind of outcome that can be perceived as positive.

This can be used in relation to a lot of activities college students engage in, such as sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, and gambling. (Tull, 2009)

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Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

Going back to Milgrim’s Obedience to Authority study we see shades of what conformity does to peer groups of college students.

If peers report to frequently use alcohol and have multiple sexual encounters, the individual does as well, whether or not the peer group actually does.

The PERCEPTION becomes reality for the group.

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Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

Studies have also shown that 2/3 of most college students have participated in unprotected sex at some point and 43% of these involved alcohol, a risk-taking double whammy. (Hardy, 2002)

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Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

College students feel a sense of invulnerability.

Nothing “bad” can happen to them, thus they engage in risk-taking more often than the general population.

The group seems ripe for participation in gambling behavior as well.

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Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

A note from an eminent psychologist on gambling:

B.F Skinner, the famous behavioral psychologist, determined that variable-ratio reinforcement is one of the most effective means of rewards. (Hardy, 2002)

Guess what a slot machine is?

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Gambling as a college student characteristics:

      • Males more than Females
      • African-American or Asian, more than Caucasian
      • Come from a low Socio-Economic status Card Games, Sports Betting, and the lottery more than other games
      • Live off-campus
      • Drink alcohol regularly
      • Member of a fraternity
      • (Engwall, Hunter & Steinberg, 2004)
      • (Bray, 2007)
      • (Lipinski, 2009)

Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

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Gambling and Risk Taking Behaviors

  • Problem and Pathological gambling amongst college students:
      • Estimated to be 5-9% of all men and 1-2% of all women
      • South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) main identifier
      • (Stinchfield, Hanson, & Olson, 2006)
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Task Force Recommendations

The Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, established the

Task Force on College Gambling Policies in 2008 to help colleges strengthen their health promotion efforts.

They provide a roadmap to policies that will help reduce gambling problems among students and enable students who are struggling with addiction to fully participate in college life.

After a review of the scientific literature and careful considerations of college student behavior and the realities of implementing new policies on campus, the Task Force developed 10 recommendations for policies and programs.

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Recommendations for on-campus gambling policies:

Establish a campus wide committee to develop and monitor a comprehensive policy on gambling.

Ensure that college policies are consistent with local, state, and federal laws.

Strive for consistency and universal application with prohibitions and restriction on gambling and alcohol use at special events.

Promote campus-community collaborations that focus on reducing problems with student drinking and gambling.

Encourage adjustments in disciplinary action applied to violators of gambling rules it the student seeks assistance from health or counseling services.

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Recommendations for on-campus gambling policies:

Make reasonable accommodations for students focused on recovery from a health problem with gambling or alcohol.

Measure student attitudes, behaviors and problems with gambling through campus surveys or by incorporating such measures into existing campus health-related surveys.

Promote campus-wide awareness of (1) pathological gambling as a mental health disorder that has a high rate of comorbidity with alcohol use and other addictive disorders and (2) responsible gambling principles.

Employ evidence-based strategies to identify and help students with gambling and alcohol problems.

Strengthen the capacity of counseling services to identify and treat gambling disorders.

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Case Study Examples

University of Alabama – Gambling Action Team (GAT)

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Case Study Examples

University of Missouri – Keeping the Score

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Case Study Examples

University of Denver – High Risk Prevention Council

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If you have any questions, please contact the presenters:

Dr. E . Ann Bailey

Mississippi State University

Director of Housing and Residence Life

Phone: (662) 325-3555

Email: annb@saffairs.msstate.edu

Dr. Tom Hardy

Valdosta State University

Director of Housing and Residence Life

Phone: (229) 333-5920

Email: twhardy@valdosta.edu