Monday, October 02, 2006

gambling on campus

A recent report from "The Christian Science Monitor"says:

Poker is the latest craze on college campuses, as 50.4 percent of male college students reported gambling on cards at least once a month.

"At the college and university level, poker is pretty much the hottest thing going," says Mike Edwards of

One Lehigh University student recently ran up over $5,000 in gambling debts, and then robbed an Allentown, Pennsylvania, bank to pay for it.

Colleges have been slow to deal with the problems generated by the growth in gambling, particularly poker. "The vast majority of schools we talk to have no formal or informal policy regarding gambling," says Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Gambling numbers (from the Annenberg Public Policy Center):

-American men aged 14-22 who said they gambled once a month rose 20 percent from 2004-2005.
-2.9 million Americans between the ages of 14-22 gamble on cards at least once a week.
-50.4 percent of male college students gamble on cards at least once a month.
-26.6 percent of female college students gamble on cards at least once a month.
-Internet gambling generated $3.1 billion in revenue in 2001.
-Internet gambling generated an estimated $12 billion in 2005.

My question: Where do we draw the line in our lives? At one point do we say, "I don't want to mess around things that can lead to addiction?"

Gambling is not a sin (although it's a stretch when it comes to wise stewardship of God-given resources). But it is not a's a form of entertainment.

But it is also inherently dangerous. I've had many friends who got tangled up in internet gambling to such an extent that it nearly (and sometimes has) ruined their family finances.

Are the habits being developed in colleges today, possibly going to lead to the struggles of the next generation of marriages tomorrow?