Facts About Gambling

  • Most people that gamble, do it in a controlled way; for 15-20%, it may create some problems in their lives.
  • 5% of adults and 8% of those under 21 are compulsive gamblers.
  • Approximately 7 million youth under 18 gamble; 4-7% of them meet criteria for problematic gambling.
  • A 1995 survey found problematic or pathological gambling in 8% of young adults 18-24 (traditional college age range).
  • Problem/compulsive gamblers are disproportionately represented among males, fraternity or sorority members, binge drinkers, alcoholics, drug abusers, youth, and those obsessed with video games.

Signs That Someone You Know Might Have A Problem

  • Unexplained absences from school or classes
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Change of personality
  • Possession of a large amount of money; brags about winnings
  • An unusual interest in newspapers, magazines, or periodicals having to do with horse-racing
  • An intense interest in gambling conversations
  • Exaggerated display of money and/or material possessions
  • Visible changes in behavior (e.g. mood changes, behavior problems, etc.)
  • Increased use of gambling language, including the word “bet” in conversation

How to Help a Friend

  • Verify that the student may have a gambling problem with others.
  • Tell the student that you care about him or her.
  • Tell the student what he or she has done that has raised your concern and how you feel.
  • Be willing to listen to what the student has to say.
  • Tell the student what you’d like to see him or her do including stopping gambling immediately, setting limits on gambling, talking to another trusted person, getting professional help, and engaging in activities that are not related to gambling.
  • Tell the student what you are willing to do. This may include assisting in making an appointment for professional counseling, contacting the UCC at 574-631-7336 for consultation, being available to talk again, following-up, remaining supportive and reinforcing even small efforts toward change, and being prepared for osme steps backward as a normal part of the recovery process.