College Student Gambling; It's Not Just a Game

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The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) is pleased to announce the release of its latest prevalence study, Gambling and Problem Gambling Prevalence Among College Students in Florida. The results of the study will be presented at the 2008 Florida Prevention Conference and Suicide Symposium in Orlando October 3.

By shining a light on gambling activities and problems, the study will provide colleges and universities with information to help set policy and implement programs to serve students with gambling problems.

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) is pleased to announce the release of its latest prevalence study, Gambling and Problem Gambling Prevalence Among College Students in Florida. The results of the study will be presented at the 2008 Florida Prevention Conference and Suicide Symposium in Orlando October 3.

Most people don't perceive gambling among college students as a serious problem. Given the persistent threat of alcohol and drug use, as well as violence and unsafe sexual activity, gambling does not often rank high on the list when it comes to the health of young people. While this perception is common, it is dangerously inaccurate. Gambling has become a serious problem for many college students and with it comes a host of negative consequences, including increased risk of suicide.

Among the concerns the study revealed is that 14.5% of Florida college students are at risk for gambling problems, which is more than double the rate previously reported for Florida adults (7.1%). In addition, the number of Florida college students classified as problem or pathological gamblers (5.2%) was more than four times that of adult and elder populations in the state. Based on the survey results, approximately 50,000 students statewide are experiencing problems related to gambling

States Pat Fowler, Executive Director of FCCG, "By shining a light on gambling activities and problems, the study will provide colleges and universities with information to help set policy and implement programs to serve students with gambling problems."

To assist colleges and universities in providing essential information to students about problem gambling, The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling has created the program, Students Against Gambling Addiction. (SAGA) By utilizing the myriad of potential student relationships on campus, SAGA offers practical insight and understanding about gambling addiction and identifies avenues students can take to access help for themselves and others.

A total of 2020 students from seven Florida universities were surveyed between December 2007 and February 2008. The study was conducted by the University of South Florida's Center for Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Measurement (CREAM) with secondary analyses and report preparation performed by Drs. Rina Gupta and Jeffrey Derevensky from the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems at McGill University.

More information on gambling behaviors in Florida and the Students Against Gambling Addiction (SAGA) program can be accessed on the FCCG website http://www.gamblinghelp.org

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