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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2014 12:53 PM
From: Representative Tina M. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Co-sponsorship - University Gambling Policy
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation which will amend the Public School Code of 1949 to require schools within the State System of Higher Education and State-related schools to create and adopt a gambling policy to apply to students. This was formerly House Bill 2410 of 2014.

Only 22 percent of colleges and universities in the United States have formal policies on gambling, despite the fact that many young adults participate in a variety of gambling activities. In fact, approximately 75 percent of college students gambled during the past year (whether legally or illegally, on campus or off) and about 18 percent gamble weekly or more frequently. The most popular forms of gambling activities for college students are lotteries, card games, pools (including raffles and charitable small stakes gambling), sports betting, and games of skill (e.g., bowling, basketball, pool, golf, backgammon, darts). For some college students, gambling can turn into a serious problem and have severe, negative consequences. The most recent research estimates that 6 percent of college students in the United States have a serious gambling problem that can result in psychological difficulties, unmanageable debt and failing grades.

This legislation will require institutions which are part of the State System of Higher Education and State-related institutions to individually develop and adopt a gambling policy. These policies will help establish gambling rules, outline what gambling acts are considered violations, and what disciplinary actions will be applied to violators. In addition, this legislation will encourage colleges and universities to promote campus-community collaborations to focus on reducing gambling problems, including possible collaboration between campus and local law enforcement agencies regarding gambling issues, to recognize gambling disorders, and help and assist those seeking assistance from health and/or counseling services; and to encourage universities to measure current student attitudes, behaviors, and problems with gambling, while disseminating information and promoting campus-wide awareness about gambling and its myriad consequences.

Please join me in ensuring that gambling is regulated and reduced among the students of the Commonwealth and that those who are struggling with addiction can find help in participating for fully in college life.

Introduced as HB1927