By Kortay Vincent 

Before I begin, I want to say that I love gambling, I think it’s a great entertainment, and I unequivocally think it should be legal in all 50 states. However, like any vice, I believe moderation is key.

I think some sort of education for students would be huge in terms of limiting college students’ propensity to gambling addictions. Now let’s jump into the world of gambling on college campuses.

When I came to college, the one thing that blew me away the most was not the drinking culture, but rather how widespread sports betting was. With sports betting being legal online, and legal in some states, it’s a growing problem.

When you come to college, everyone warns you about not getting sucked into drugs and alcohol, but no one tells you about gambling. According to, 67% of students place a bet on sports during their time in college, and I’d venture that that number is even higher among male students, like myself.  With sports betting being legal online, and legal in some states, it’s a growing problem.

As a green freshman who was majoring in journalism and wanted to be a sportswriter, I thought I could easily jump right into sports betting. After all, I am a student of sports. What I quickly learned was that I was so wrong. By the end of my freshman year, I realized that gambling was a losing effort.

However, for many students, they start losing a little bit of money, then they lose a little more, then they start chasing, and before they know it, they’re deep in the hole. I never put myself in a situation where I was financially unable to pay. I have had friends do it, and it’s tough to watch. 

Thankfully, I have always been smart with my money, so I was able to keep myself in check most of the time, but every young gambler makes mistakes, and one specific experience I had revealed to me the reality and dangers of gambling despite its fun.

My freshman year, I had made somewhere in the range of $50 sports betting one week, and I decided to hop on the online casino and play some blackjack. Luckily for me the table was hot, and I went up big – $300 to be more specific. I was feeling on top of the world.

Things quickly changed, however, when my friends suggested we go to the bar that night. After a couple of drinks, I got back on my phone and got back on the blackjack table. In an impaired state, I started placing bets I probably shouldn’t have and by the end of the night I went from being up $300 to down $200.

After this experience, it opened my eyes to the pitfalls of gambling, and that I needed to be more disciplined if I wanted to continue having gambling as a hobby that inevitably would cost me money.

Now a junior, I still gamble, and I still enjoy it, but I make sure to do it responsibly and in moderation to lower my losses. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about many of those around me. I’ve seen kids lose thousands and then scramble and work non-stop just to get out of debt to their bookies. For most, they had no idea that a severe gambling addiction would come from their first $10 or $20 bet. 


Kortay Vincent is a senior at the University of Missouri School of Journalism