Online gambling ban will impact schools

College students have been avid players of online gambling sites. Now that US players are no longer welcome, what's a college kid to do?
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

It's not an obvious aspect of the story but it is a real one. The ban on online gambling will hit some college students especially hard, and colleges may find themselves providing counseling services for kids going through withdrawal from their gambling addictions.

After the bill banning online gambling passed Congress late Monday night, several online gaming sites said Americans were no longer welcome at their virtual tables, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

There have been a number of reports about the dangerous levels of addictive online gambling. In June ZDNet Education related a NY Times story about the worrisome trend:

Despite the fact that researchers and players say that Internet poker is addictive, and the federal government says that it’s illegal, colleges have done little to stop its spread on campus. Online casinos advertise heavily to college students. Some schools have even sponsored live cash tournaments; the sites partner with fraternities and sports teams in order to convert the casual poker player to be a steady online gambler. With most dorm rooms equipped with high speed wireless, any student with a credit card is a live mark for the gambling sites.

Now that online poker and other games are disappearing, students will either be studying more, returning to illicit music downloads or hitting the Asian card rooms. In any case, university counselors should sit up and pay attention.

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