BOSTON – As the NCAA basketball tournament hits its stride, fans around the United States are filling out brackets and possibly placing bets on the game. College students gamble nearly as much as adults, and research shows that 6 percent develop some form of gambling problem that can result in psychological difficulties, unmanageable debt and failing grades.
To address this issue, the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) today launched its College Gambling Awareness Campaign, bringing new resources to www.CollegeGambling.org. These new and invaluable resources, including the BetOnU College Gambling Survey, a shareable video and an information-packed toolkit, were developed to further help college health professionals and administrators educate students about gambling-related harms and responsible gaming.
“For the past six years, the NCRG has been committed to educating the 75 percent of college students that have gambled in the past year, and provide recovery-oriented measures for those who may need help,” said Christine Reilly, senior research director of the NCRG. “Educating students about gambling-related harms and responsible gaming will help them develop healthy behaviors that they can carry with them further into adulthood.”
Developed in 2011, CollegeGambling.org is a science-based resource to help colleges and universities address gambling and gambling-related harms on college campuses. The website brings together the latest research and best practices in responsible gaming and the field of addiction awareness and prevention. CollegeGambling.org provides free resources for university administrators, campus health professionals, students and parents to help address this issue in the way best suited to the needs of each campus.
The NCRG’s2014 College Gambling Awareness Campaign features several new resources on CollegeGambling.org, including:
- BetOnU College Gambling Survey – This brief survey, created by University of Houston researcher Clayton Neighbors, Ph.D. from an NCRG grant, is the first online intervention that allows college students to see how their gambling behavior compares with other students. After taking a 10-minute, confidential survey, participants will receive information on where they stand when compared to others in different universities and colleges. Research suggests that this awareness can help reduce gambling among students.They will also find resources for help, if they are experiencing gambling-related problems. College health professionals and administrators can use the free resource as part of their wellness programs and in student orientations.
- Webinar – On Wednesday, March 19, the NCRG will hold a free webinar, titled “Preventing Disordered Gambling among College Students.” Dr. Clayton Neighbors will discuss the BetOnU College Gambling Screener, provide an overview of disordered gambling on college campuses and describe the research behind the development and testing of this novel prevention program. (Visit http://www.ncrg.org/public-education-and-outreach/webinars to register.)
- The Facts about College Gambling Video – The NCRG created a short video that provides an overview of gambling among college students, gambling disorders, responsible gaming and how college students can get help for a problem. Anyone can download and share this video in education programs.
- College Gambling Toolkit – The NCRG created a toolkit with resources for college health professionals and administrators that includes free, downloadable collateral materials, such as a brochure, an infographic, the BetOnU College Survey and the college gambling video. The toolkit also includes customizable materials for distribution, including sample newspaper articles, newspaper and radio public service announcements, and social media posts.
TheBetOnU College Gambling Survey, The Facts about College Gambling video and the toolkit for college health professionals and administrators are all available for free on CollegeGambling.org.
“BetOnU and the college gambling video are two tools that college health professionals and university administrators can easily integrate into their existing programs,” said Reilly. “We strongly encourage all colleges and universities to link to CollegeGambling.org and share the BetOnU College Gambling Survey and the video on their institutions’ websites and via social media outlets.”
The development of CollegeGambling.org was guided by an advisory committee of leading college and university health and student life professionals. CollegeGambling.org builds on the recommendations of the Task Force on College Gambling Policies, which provides schools with a roadmap for reducing gambling among students and enabling those who are struggling with addiction to participate more fully in college life.