Gambling addiction is quite popular among college students throughout Canada. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), recently did a study on how gambling affects school performance. According to the study, 42.6% of Canadian college students admitted having participated in gambling activity over the past year.
Although gambling addiction is a nationwide phenomenon, Vancouver universities are adversely affected. Vancouver is home to a massive casino, a horse racing track, and a commercial bingo hall. The culture of gambling in the city easily permeates every segment of society – and especially so to the student community in the area.
Statistics on how gambling affects Vancouver schools and colleges
Here are a few more shocking gambling addiction statistics from CAHM showing just how gambling affects school results in Vancouver:
- 80% of Vancouver student gamblers play with real money
- 10-15% of students in Vancouver are at risk of getting gambling-related problems
- 42% of Canadian youth, in general, admitted that they have participated in a gambling activity at least once, whether legally or illegally
- Approximately 67% of Vancouver university students bet on sports
The most addictive gambling activities in Vancouver are:
- card games (34%)
- scratch tickets (32%)
- lottery (41%)
- games of skill (22%)
- sports betting (16%).
Gambling in Vancouver is viewed as a leisure activity. Big names in the industry including charitable organizations, health care facilities and even local religious entities always organize casino-style fundraisers since these seem to be effective.
Pathological gambling vs problem gambling
The two terms are often used interchangeably when referring to gambling. Pathological gambling is compulsive gambling, and it can, therefore, be said to be an impulse control disorder. Pathological gambling is a chronic problem, often affecting its victims before they hit their 10th-year mark. For the most part, pathological gambling patterns display themselves during the elementary years then essentially evolve over the course of time. Granted, some of these gamblers have no severe gambling problem but a vast majority of them develop issues such as loss, depression, impulsivity, abuse, learning disabilities and an array of antisocial traits. Problem gamblers, on the other hand, suffer the negative consequences of gambling but are generally thought to be out of the risky gambling bracket.
How gambling affects Vancouver schools and colleges
Let’s take a look at exactly how gambling affects school results in Vancouver.
1. Alcohol and drug abuse
Gambling has been closely linked to a massive reliance on alcohol and drug addiction. In the same CAHM study, 68.5% gamblers from Vancouver Community college and other colleges in the city reported heavy substance abuse. The financial stress, constant arguments with parents, and lying can take a toll on the young adult. Getting high round the clock to avoid facing the pressure may seem like an ideal escape for them. However, escaping problems is never a good idea. Finding a solution is the only way forward.
2. Missing class
Students end up spending too much time at the casinos and horse tracks that they miss their classes. As gambling intensifies, class attendance keeps dropping. What’s worse is that a higher percentage of those who manage to swing by the classroom seem to be technically absent from the lesson. Even though they are physically present, they are constantly watching the betting apps on their smartphones instead of listening to their course instructors. This absenteeism affects the overall performance of the students causing some to drop out. Some manage to push through but what we end up with is half-baked graduates who are unfit for the corporate and business world.
3. Increased crime
Gambling related problems are known to increase criminal activity. Government authorities have recently showed up in Vancouver colleges to report cases of illegal drug trafficking and fraud activities. Of course, there are many reasons why students get involved in crime but compulsive gambling has undoubtedly made a huge contribution. The constant loss of money and valuable items can easily push anyone to use illegal ways to recover the money lost and even get more. Involvement in brawls and carrying illegal firearms are quite the norm among these youths as well.
4. Poor mental and physical health
Last but not least, students who participate in compulsive gambling are no longer attentive, perform poorly in their tests, and are generally in bad shape physically and emotionally. All these factors tie to gambling addiction. A mentally unstable student is capable of extreme acts, even suicide.
Gambling may cause bigger problems than most would care to admit. Even though gambling is done by an individual, the effects of the addiction will have far-reaching effects on the entire society. For instance, when a student spends all his allowance on gambling, they might have to resort to illegal ways to make some money to get by. The first step in dealing with gambling related issues would be to provide helpful information to young people promoting responsible gambling. It is in the best interest of all educational institutions in Vancouver to be aware of how gambling affects schools. They must be at the forefront of dealing with gambling addiction among students because if they don’t, they might not produce quality graduates.