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Problem Gambling Resources

Problem Gambling Services

College students have substantially higher rates of gambling problems than the rest of the adult population.  Student Wellness offers services to support students who may be having a problem with gambling or who may know somebody who is struggling to control their gambling.  This page provides some valuable educational information and resources to help support people affected by a gambling problem.  Contact carolinarecovery@unc.edu if you have any further questions or if you would like to set up an appointment to speak with somebody about our services.

What is gambling? 

Gambling is when a person risks something of value on an activity or event in which:

  1. The outcome is uncertain
  2. The risk or bet is fixed (irreversible)
  3. The risk could result in winning, or losing, something of value in return

Common forms of gambling include:

  • Daily fantasy sports
  • Internet casino games
  • Sports betting
  • Animal racing/ fighting
  • Cards or dice games
  • Other casino games
  • Lottery – scratch off, powerball, numbers, etc.
  • Games of skill (darts, billiards, etc.)
  • Stocks/ day trading
  • Bingo/ raffles

Warning signs of a possible gambling problem:

  • Prioritizes gambling over other activities
  • Progressive preoccupation with gambling
  • Experiences a rush from gambling, especially when winning
  • Gambles to escape worry or problems
  • Feels need to increase betting amounts
  • Feels compelled to chase losses
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut back or stop gambling
  • Lies about engaging in gambling behavior
  • Exaggerated display of money and/or material possessions
  • Unexplained debt
  • Feast or famine cash flow
  • Frequent unexplained absences from classes
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Visible changes in behavior
  • Decline in health, increased symptoms of depression
  • Suicidal ideations or attempts

Students who gambled in the past year had higher rates of:

  • Binge drinking
  • Marijuana use
  • Cigarette use
  • Illicit drug use
  • Unsafe sex after drinking

If you choose to gamble, here are some tips for gambling more safely and responsibly:

  • Set your limit before you start gambling.  Any money spent on gambling should be considered the cost of entertainment – only use money that you can afford to lose.
  • Avoid gambling when feeling lonely, depressed, angry, stressed, when coping with loss, or as a way to impress others.
  • Avoid gambling in conjunction with excessive alcohol or drug use
  • Avoid borrowing money to gamble – it is always a high-risk decision
  • Only gamble when it is legal to do so

 

If you think you may need help, or for additional information and resources, view the links in the column on the right-hand side of this page.