The Washington Post

College tries to address lure of gambling


When Towson University students pick up their phones on campus and open a designated app, they may see an ad seeking to teach them about responsibl­e gambling.

The in-app banner ad, sent at random, advises them to “PAWS”: “Plan ahead, Always know your limits, Wait to play again/wager again, Stop while you’re ahead.”

With this marketing campaign, Towson is stepping in front of a trend: explosive growth of sports betting on college campuses.

In studies conducted from 2007 to 2014, researcher­s found that 75 to 80 percent of college students had gambled in the past year.

A grant from the National Council on Problem Gambling has helped the Baltimore-area college create what it hopes will become a national model for what a university can do to help its students.

“The hope and the goal (is) that we can really develop some incredible work that sets the standard for other universiti­es to tackle this topic ,” said Jaclyn Webber of the university’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Center.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the problem gambling council, said his organizati­on selected Towson for the grant because “we believe that preventing high-risk population­s was the area that had the least amount of funding and could make the biggest impact.”

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