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, says the National Council on Problem Gambling.
This, says the non-profit, includes effective tools and sensible limits that support informed choice, and require consumer protections in the unique environment of higher education.
The comments come amid the publication of a report by its prevention committee which offers an overview of why the recommendations are needed, focusing on how young adults are especially vulnerable.
‘Recommendations on Partnerships Between Higher Education Academic Institutions and Sports Betting Operators’ 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’s recommendations are tailored for each of the respective parties to implement, and indicate that operators should not offer incentives, especially monetary, to institutions of higher learning based in any way on participation in sports betting by individuals.
Furthermore, it is added that they also should provide data to colleges and universities on betting activity and patterns to inform problem gambling efforts, or set strict age-gate verification policies and operations that go beyond lip service and self-verification.
It is said that 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; and offer treatment services on campus for anyone who might need it.
Finally, key findings also indicate that 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, and establish stringent responsible gambling regulations for sports betting operators and vendors.