The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) released a report from its Prevention Committee called “Recommendations on Partnerships Between Higher Education Academic Institutions and Sports Betting Operators.” The report addresses how sports betting operators, institutions of higher learning, and state governments can help mitigate against the potential rise of problem gambling among young adults that might occur as sports betting becomes legal in more states.
“The NCPG Prevention Committee’s report is comprised of recommendations that can help limit the number of young adults who could develop signs of gambling addiction as a result of sports betting, which is expanding rapidly across America,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “We hope gambling operators, institutions of higher learning and state officials each feel a sense of urgency in adopting these responsible gambling policies and problem gambling treatment measures, whether sports betting is legal or might be in the near future.”
The report gives an overview of why the recommendations are needed, focusing on how young adults are especially vulnerable. Some startling facts contained in the report include:
College and university students tend to have higher rates of problem gambling, as compared to the general population.
College student athletes have an even greater risk for gambling problems than the general college population.
The report’s recommendations are tailored for each of the respective parties to implement.
Sports betting operators should:
Not offer incentives, especially monetary incentives, to institutions of higher learning based in any way on participation in sports betting by individuals.
Provide data to colleges and universities on betting activity and patterns to inform problem gambling efforts.
Set strict age-gate verification policies and operations that go beyond lip service and self-verification.
Universities and colleges should:
Not accept any incentives based on participation by individuals in sports betting.
Set standards and policies for what type of sports betting advertising and promotion can occur, and where it can occur.
Offer problem gambling treatment services on campus for anyone who might need it.
State governments should:
Conduct surveys focused on high school and college students regarding this issue so that potential adjustments can be made going forward.
Provide funds at a minimum of one percent of all sports betting revenue to address gambling addiction.
Establish stringent responsible gambling regulations for sports betting operators and vendors.
The best way to protect students and student athletes from gambling addiction is for all parties to work together to provide education, awareness and help on this hidden addiction. This includes effective tools and sensible limits that support informed choice and require consumer protections in the unique environment of higher education. Institutions of higher learning have a great responsibility toward their students, in this as in other aspects, to ensure that their educational environment does not present a danger but helps them to be successful as students and adults.