Several new studies show that college students are flocking to online gambling websites in record numbers. The studies show a 12% increase in college students that participate in online gambling from two years ago. The unlawful Internet gambling enforcement act (UIGEA) was passed and became law in October 2006 by the government to curb the online gambling. But the UIGEA not deterred online gambling, but in fact has actually increased the Internet gambling activity.
The US is considered the top Internet gambling market in the world and now high school and college age students ages 14 to 22 are getting into the act. One of the studies was conducted by the Annenberg adolescent communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. This telephone study found that in college aged males 16% admitted to gambling online that figure is up from 4.4% in 2008. High school students who gamble online on a monthly basis were up from 2.7% to 6.2%. Of the participants virtually none admitted to weekly online gambling.
The woman in the study showed a significant jump in online gambling participation with high school females that gamble online monthly jumping from 0.5% to 1.5%. Women have been the driving force behind the explosion in poker in the US.
Online poker players have been lobbying the US Congress to repeal the current UIGEA law. The new bill passed the House Financial Services Committee, but doesn’t look like it will be voted on by the full house before the end of the year. With no vote this year a new bill have to be introduced in 2011. The idea of regulating online casinos and poker rooms has many politicians including it in their campaigns. Hoping that this will help many states increase tax revenue and help balance the state’s budget.
As a result of these studies it is projected that 400,000 college aged persons and 500,000 high school students gamble online at least once a month.