Last year Casino Watch Focus reported that Missouri University was part of a coalition of universities working to educated students about the dangers of gambling. This year, the local MU paper, The Maneater, is reporting that the Partners in Prevention program is up to 13 members. They highlighted the fact that gambling problems continue to impact students at alarming rates:
Informational tables, an online quiz and literature were all a part of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week on campus, a campaign to prevent problem gambling among college students.
The Wellness Resource Center sponsored the week, and the center worked with students to help prevent gambling, a silent addiction for college students compared to other types, such as drugs and alcohol.
Partners in Prevention senior coordinator Joan Masters estimates 2-7 percent of students can be classified as problem or pathological gamblers across the U.S.
The Maneater continued its report with an even more startling statistic; 50% of college students have gambled in the last year. Unfortunately, gambling problems are so much harder to diagnose that other addictions:
Masters said one of the significant challenges of preventing problem gambling is the difficulty in detecting those students having trouble.
“Certainly gambling can be an addiction like alcohol, but you can’t see it, you know,” she said. “You can’t smell it on someone’s breath.”
Gambling Education coordinator Kristy Wanner said while alcohol and drug addiction is overt, problem gamblers often don’t publicly exhibit noticeable erratic behavior.
Kristy Wanner went on to explain that the impact of gambling reaches far beyond those with addictions. She explained that one person’s addiction can affect up to 10-17 people around them.