Gambling U.

by , Dec 8, 2009 | 11:02 am

More kids and poker, man … it was gonna be an issue anyhow, and Joe Cada’s WSOP win maybe made it even more so. I got an email from a student at Rollins University who’s doing a paper for his English Composition class on something that has indeed become if not a hot topic, a warmer than usual one on college campuses across the U.S.

Below are the questions Tyler in Winter Park, FL, sent me. While #1 is probably the hardest to answer — and ahh, the memories brought back by #2 — I think it’s interesting to see where his thinking is coming from … how the internet is obviously part of the issue, but not nearly all of it … and in general, the starting perception that gambling is a “problem”.


1.What is your profession?
2. Did you gamble in college?
3.How do you feel college administrations should address this problem? Do we need more awareness or intervention programs on campus?
4.Do you think this is a serious/risky problem for college students today? Why? Does the internet play a major role?
5. Can you comment on these areas of my argument
-Gambling can lead to addiction (colleges already educate on alcohol and drug addiction)
-Gambling can lead to risky behavior (financial problems, crime etc)
-Gambling can negatively affect academic progress

9 Comments to “Gambling U.”

  1. BJ Nemeth

    The questions seem pretty fair to me, but the third part of question #5 is a loaded question — *everything* can negatively affect academic progress in college. If you spend too much time playing online poker, it’s likely to affect your academic progress. But that applies to everything. If you spend too much time reading off-topic books, that will also affect your academic progress.

    I understand his intent behind the question, but I think he should leave that to the first two parts of Question #5. (Which are valid and gambling specific.)

    And the answer to question #1 is journalist. My understanding is that you only gamble recreationally, and your primary source of income is from Pokerati, which you run as a journalist.

  2. DanM

    Yeah, I’m gonna try to edumucate the kid on that stuff.

    As to #1, please … while I may have “real journalist” in my blood, I am at best a pseudojournalist here (a phrase coined by Joel Stein in his early days at Time magazine), and pseudojournalism doesn’t exactly pay a whole bunch!

  3. BJ Nemeth

    I know it’s popular among the poker media (and poker fans) to denigrate the poker media, but what distinguishes you from a regular journalist?

    I think you’re comparing yourself to network news anchors, political reporters, and war correspondents. You need to compare yourself to industry-specific journalists in relatively small industries — and you definitely fit the mold in that category.

  4. DanM

    *** what distinguishes you from a regular journalist? ***

    that’s a discussion for another place or post. this is about the kids, man!

  5. ChrisC

    Network anchors are not he example of what I would call journalism at its finest…fox news?

    Anyway as far as the kids go they need to be responsible for their actions. If online gambling hurts them then that is something for them and their family to deal with.

    Why does everyone want to put personal business under regulation? Is this country free anymore? We dont need counseling for everything, some things you just have to live and learn through.

  6. DanM

    *** Why does everyone want to put personal business under regulation? ***

    I’ll answer that question, as a former card-carrying Libertarian.

    a) because some things really are more complex than people realize. the transfer of funds across international borders is one of those. virtual money is a whole new concept that didn’t exist in the days when major battles were fought over gold vs. silver standards. back in the old-old days, every bank had their own currency; the American economy never coulda grown to what it is today (or was a few years ago, lol) if the government didn’t step in on that one to create a standard by which all legit businesses play.

    b) people can keep saying online poker is legal-legal-legal all they want … i still have people who won’t touch me business-wise because of Pokerati’s apparent connection to online gambling entities. it is easier to buy pot than it is to load, unload, and reload various online poker accounts. until that changes, i have a selfish interest in compromising with those who want to stop me from doing the things i do.

    c) even Ron Paul (and Rich Muny over at say this sorta regulation would be OK.

    d) not all regulation is bad. alcohol is heavily regulated. so are guns. so are casinos. so is milk.

    now with all that said, i do think that should we (poker people) get what we supposedly want, we will be up in arms with how many people are fighting via regulation for pieces of our pie.

    i have no problem, btw, w universities wanting to give a little extra education to their students about things like sex, drugs, and gambling … all of which can be great, but do have consequences that our parents might not be equipped to teach us properly about.

  7. ChrisC


    I don’t mind the regulation on the fund transfers, what I was refering to was school’s using money to teach people about online gambling. College is expensive enough without adding to that cost by adding programs about online gambling.

    If you don’t know if you can afford to gamble or not…DONT DO IT! My comment was more on the issues of people taking responisibility for their actions.

  8. DanM

    Ahh, I see. And I’m thinking it would probably be good for schools to tell kids don’t chase flush draws — at least as worthwhile as telling them not to drink jagermeister from a bong.

  9. Olvin

    It is very famous topic among the poker media to denigrate the poker media, but what distinguishes you from a regular journalist? …..