USA Gambling Task Force Wants to Help

Published Sunday, October 04, 2009 -

The Task Force on College Gambling Policies report released recently has recommended that administrators at colleges should treat gambling as a health issue. The Report also suggests that schools develop a policy that restricts gambling on campus and provide treatment measures for those who have a real problem with their gambling activities.

Executive Director of the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders in Beverly, Mass.USA, Christine Reilly, commented, "It is important, we believe, for schools to send a clear, unified message about acceptable behaviours," adding, "It's very common for schools to have different rules for alcohol use … and for gambling, and so we think this is an issue that colleges should think about,"

The task force's chairperson, Peter Emerson, had this to say about the issue, "If a student presents himself to a university health service with a physical problem such as kidney disease or a fractured hip, the college will bend over backward to assist the student," He went on to say, "Addiction is in a different category."

Reilly also said data available is not recent enough to determine how online gambling affects the students gambling habits. Today as everyone knows online activity is readily available to most students at colleges and universities which complicates the data in the task forces reach. Online gambling operators are looking to target the younger demographic to expand their businesses. This combined with the available tools such as mobile phones and high speed broadband has created a huge new group of customers for the online gambling industry. Problems do exist and it is better to bring those problems out in the open and help to solve them. Recognizing a problem is half way to finding a solution. So far the college administrators have been asleep at the wheel and have not adjusted policies to address this disturbing trend.

The American Gaming Association, which funds the National Center for Responsible Gaming, said in its 2009 report that commercial casinos in the USA took in $32.54 billion in gambling revenue last year. The report doesn't take into account the online gambling industry's portion. Schools should get with the program and do something responsible.

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