Problem Gambling Messages on College Web Sites

Dr. Christopher McKinley (Health Communication) and Dr. Yi Luo (Public Relations) in the School of Communication and Media collaborated with researchers in the Department of Telecommunications at the University of Indiana to investigate the current frequency and nature of problem gambling-related content offered on U.S. college counseling center web sites (CCWs), and to extend previous research to the United Kingdom.

While the number of ‘physical’ gaming establishments in the U.S. dwarfs that of the U.K., the U.K. laws permit greater online access to gaming sites. Given the estimated revenue of over $1 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, a large proportion of U.K. citizens gravitate towards these sites. Furthermore, recent data suggests that Internet gambling represents a key trend in U.K. college student gambling behavior, with substantial increases in online gambling among this population.

Results of the study showed that problem gambling remains disproportionately underrepresented on U.S. CCWs compared to other mental health concerns.

Their collaborative study, “Problem Gambling Messages on College Counseling Center Websites: An Over-Time and Cross-Country Comparison” was published in the February 2015 issue of the  Journal of Gambling Studies.