Colleges Flush with Gamblers

The preachers who railed against smoking, drinking, and gambling a couple of generations back may have had it right after all.

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):

  1. American men aged 14-22 who said they gambled once a month rose 20 percent from 2004-2005.
  2. 2.9 million Americans between the ages of 14-22 gamble on cards at least once a week.
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