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October 23, 2003 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-23

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6B - The Michigan Daily - WeekDe Ia Zie - Thursday, October 23, 2003

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Sports gambling prevalent among college students
B et you can't guess how much
Americans spent gambling in
2002. According to the
Christiansen Capital Advisors, a
professional firm dealing strictly
with gaming and entertainment
practices, that number was $68
That marks over a 4-percent increase in revenue for the
gaming industry from 2001. It also means that Americans
spent seven times more money gambling than they did going
to the movies (approximately $9 billion).
Perhaps the biggest reason that the gaming industry has
M become a multi-billion dollar market is the surplus of choices
people have when trying to satisfy their thirst for a quick buck.
In addition to the many casinos and under-the-radar book-
ies operating throughout the United States, gaming has
reached new heights of success online as well. According to
GambleTribune.com, there are close to 2,000 sites where one
can experience the thrill of Las Vegas.
Of course, the specific number of online locales is impos-
sible to pinpoint, as the market expands on a daily, if not
hourly basis. U.S. law prevents online sites from springing up
across the country, but that's a problem that many businesses
have gotten around by setting up camp in places like Costa
Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. In addition, online


Once the sport of kings to some, horse racing is now just another gambling option.

sportsbooks and casi-
nos are extremely
popular overseas in
Europe and Asia.
The ever-growing
popularity of online
gaming led the
Gaming Council to
project 2003 world-
wide revenue for
Internet sites at $4.2
billion combined.
And while that
seems like a small
chunk compared to
the near-$70 billion
Americans alone
spent last year, it's

A study by the
Gambling Problem
Resource Center
found that 97 percent
of men and 85
percent of women, at
two Minnesota
in gambling win a
two-month time

impossible to ignore the rapid growth of online gaming and
the gambling market in general.
It's a spurt that comes thanks in no small part to high school
and college students.
There's little question that college-age men and women
are eager to make a quick buck. Be it to pay tuition,
buy some books or simply have some spending
money, those attending universities are always on the look-
out for a good bargain.
That factor makes them particularly susceptible to the allure
gaming - either in person or online - brings.
The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling
reported that 5.5 percent of all adults have a gambling prob-
lem. That number, however, is two to three times higher
among high school and college age people, at somewhere
closer to 17 percent.
A report by the Gambling Problem Resource Center took
the study even further. Surveying random students at two
Minnesota colleges over a period of 12 months, the Center
determined that 97 percent of males and 85 percent of females
participated in gambling during that time.

Those numbers probably come as little surprise to students at
Michigan. Just a stone's throw away from casinos in Mount
Pleasant, Detroit and Windsor, in addition to the booming
online gaming world, the opportunity to place a bet is
"We probably head to Windsor at least once a month," said
one LSA junior who wished to remain anonymous. "I know
plenty of people over 21 that head to Detroit pretty often, too.
It's a pretty entertaining way to spend a night, and there's always
the possibility that you might hit it big."
egal sports gambling has also risen to new heights,
accounting for a multi-million-dollar portion of the gam-
i g industry.
In addition to bets placed with sportsbooks on the Internet or
through Las Vegas, there are countless other wagers laid down
on athletics under-the-radar.
The improvement in online capabilities has sparked this
industry, as finding out the
days odds and placing a wager
takes little more than the click A University stu
of a mouse. percent of stu
"It's so easy to bet on sports gambled
online, I don't think people real- had gambled1
ize how simple it is," said anoth- one time or a
er LSA senior, who also wished that five perc
to remain anonymous. "If Ia
wanted to bet on a game tonight, athletes had
it would literally take me less information o
than two minutes to get to a site, to play poorly
find a good line and put some
money down."
This particular student also
pointed out that Internet sportsbooks aren't the only way to
make some money.
"I've heard other people say that it's not that tough to find a
bookie," the student said. "I've never tried, and I would assume
that most people would prefer to do it online now - it's just
safer and easier."
According to a University of Michigan study concluded in


1998, though, gambling is part of every student's life - even
student athletes.
The study polled 758 student athletes, and found out that
35 percent of them had gambled on sports at one time or
another. Even more shocking, the report found that 5-percent
of male athletes had provided inside information or taken
money to play poorly.
It's a problem that has constantly come before the NCAA,
with many coaches and administrators firmly in favor of elimi-
nating gambling on college sports. For now, though, the busi-
ness is thriving.
s the gaming industry continues to thrive, new aspects
have sprung up to grab a piece of the action. Two new,
xtremely popular versions of gaming have sprung up
online to try to grab a piece of the action.
Leaning on the back of coverage from The Travel Channel
and ESPN, poker has revived itself as one of the country's most
popular games. And now, it's eas-
ier than ever to sign online and sit
y found 35 down at a virtual poker table to
ent athletes test your wits against poker play-
ers across the country
in sports at Most of the sites offer any-
other and thing from small bet tables to
nt of male high stakes tournaments, and
ovided inside have given a whole new meaning
to the friendly, neighborhood
taken money poker game.
"It's more convenient than hav-
ing to drive to a casino," said a
University senior from the
Engineering school who goes by
the alias PoktAces on Pokerstars.com. "You don't have to spend
a lot of money to play online."
The second new fad is the art of online video game betting.
The Associated Press reported last week about two new web-
sites, YouPlayGames and the Ultimate Arena that allow users to
log on and place wagers against other online players for combat
games such as "Counter-Strike."

Show me the money.
While the videogarr
the rest of the online g
will soon be part of ga
T he increase in
increase of expc
into the 21st ce
in the online world.
The majority of i
will occur in the onli
of thousands.



Nearby casinos offer easy access to students who wish to gamble.

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