Gambling As a Problem for CU Boulder Students


Gambling involves placing money on an event with an uncertain outcome, such as the roll of a dice or the spin of a slot machine. Although gambling can provide some enjoyment and a rush of adrenaline, it is important to recognize that the vast majority of gamblers lose more than they win. Some people are predisposed to gambling addiction due to genetics and/or the way their brain processes rewards, impulse control, or risk-taking.

Despite its negative reputation, gambling can be a fun and social activity when done responsibly. It is also an effective way to relieve boredom or stress, and can be a useful tool for learning new skills, such as shooting baskets into a net. But when gambling goes too far, it can become a problem and cause harm to the gambler and others. It is important to seek help when gambling becomes a problem, as it can be difficult to overcome on one’s own.

People who have a gambling disorder may hide their habit or lie about how much they spend, fearing that others will not understand or that they will be surprised by a big win. They often feel a need to secretly gamble or even sneak around casinos. They might feel the need to bet higher and higher amounts in a desperate attempt to win back lost money.

Gambling is a popular pastime and a huge industry that generates billions of dollars annually, but it can be dangerous for those who are prone to addictive behavior. Problematic gambling is more than a bad habit, it is a serious mental health condition that affects the ability to control one’s behavior. The underlying issue is that the brain’s natural reward circuitry becomes hijacked, causing gamblers to act impulsively.

In the past, people who experienced problems with gambling were viewed as immoral and illegal. Today, however, the understanding of gambling addiction has changed significantly. Problem gamblers are now considered to have a psychological condition similar to alcoholics.

CU Boulder students who are struggling with gambling or other issues should contact the CUCRC to learn about resources available. Students can also access support through AcademicLiveCare, which offers virtual counseling and psychiatry appointments to all students, staff and faculty.

If you are thinking about gambling, be sure to only gamble with disposable income and not with funds needed for bills or rent. Also, it is helpful to set a time limit and leave when you reach that number, regardless of whether you are winning or losing. It is also a good idea to keep gambling in balance with other activities such as friends, family, work and hobbies. And, never gamble with credit cards or loans.