Gambling is a common and increasingly popular activity, especially among young adults. It can be a healthy form of entertainment for most of the population- but for some it can negatively impact their physical and mental health, as well as strain social and cultural ties. Technological advances have increased the accessibility of gambling beyond traditional land-based activities (e.g. casinos), allowing individuals to gamble from the comfort of their computer or smartphone, any time they feel like it. These advances have also blurred the line between gambling and gaming, with many traditional smartphone or computer-based games now including gambling elements (e.g. loot-boxes). This brief presentation will provide an overview of gambling behaviour and harm, its relationship to other mental health conditions university/college students are susceptible to, and provide considerations for developing campus services and polices to promote healthy play and reduce negative health outcomes.
Travis Sztainert, PhD, is a Knowledge Broker at Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO).