Online gambling is more accessible than ever, and colleges across the U.S. have even begun partnering with online sports gambling companies and casinos in order to receive funding in exchange for promoting their services to students. Online gambling is also one of the fastest growing addictions in North America, and college students can be particularly vulnerable.

In December, Intelligent surveyed 986 current college students to ask about their gambling habits and how, if at all, their schools have promoted online gambling to them.

The results:

  • Half of college students have participated in gambling while in school
  • 60% of college gamblers have done so illegally
  • More than 1 in 6 (17%) college students have used financial aid money to gamble
  • Two-thirds of college gamblers believe gambling has become a problem for them
  • 1 in 4 say their college has promoted sports betting to them
  • 85% of students who gamble and have had betting promoted to them by their school say the school promotions are the reason they started gambling

Half of College Students Have Participated in Gambling While in School

Fifty percent of college students surveyed said they have gambled while in college. Of this group, 15% say they gamble every day, 19% say they gamble a few times a week, and 21% gamble about once per week.

While the majority of students gamble less than $500 per year, one in four admit to gambling more than $1,000 per year.

6 in 10 College Gamblers Have Done So Illegally

Sixty percent of college gamblers surveyed say they have used some else’s ID and/or account to gamble because they were underage.

More Than 1 in 6 College Students Have Used Financial Aid and Student Loan Money to Gamble

Seventeen percent of college students have used financial aid and/or student loan money to gamble. Sixty-one percent of student gamblers who receive financial aid also agree with the statement, “Receiving financial aid allows me to spend more on gambling.”

Additionally, 31% of student gamblers have used money from their parents to gamble and 31% have also used credit cards to gamble.

Twenty-nine percent of college student gamblers even say they have spent less on food in order to have more money to gamble with, while 17% say they have paid their bills late and 16% have taken fewer classes.

26% of College Students Say Their College Has Promoted Sports Betting

Of the 26% who say their college has promoted sports betting, 35% say their college directly provided them with promo codes in order to encourage sports betting. Thirty-nine percent say they have seen betting company reps on campus, 38% have seen sports betting promoted on social media, and 33% say their college has promoted sports betting via email.

85% Say They Started Gambling Because of Their School’s Betting Promotions

Concerningly, of the students who both participate in gambling and say their college has promoted betting to them, an overwhelming 85% say they started gambling because of these promotions.

More Than Two-Thirds of College Gamblers Believe They Have a Problem

Sixty-seven percent of college student gamblers say they ‘strongly’ (40%) or ‘somewhat’ (27%) believe that gambling has become a problem for them. Additionally, more than half of all college students surveyed (51%) say they know of at least one student at their school who has a gambling problem.

When asked about campus resources available to help those with gambling addictions, 41% of students said their college has these resources, 25% said their college does not have these resources, and 34% were not sure.

Methodology

This online poll was commissioned by Intelligent.com and conducted by SurveyMonkey from December 7 to 9, 2022. Respondents consist of a national sample of 986 current college students age 18 and up, identified here as part time at a two year undergraduate, full time at a two year undergraduate, part time at a four year college, full time at a four year college, part time in graduate school, or full time in graduate school. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data for this survey have been weighted for gender using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is approximately plus or minus 3 percentage points. Learn more about SurveyMonkey’s methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.