Charlie, a 22-year old student, spoke under the condition that his first name not be used. He began gambling his freshman year at Syracuse University. He quickly ran into problems.

Syracuse does not have an online partner for sports betting, but it encourages gambling through its partnership to the Turning Stone Resort nearby and Casino. Charlie placed his bets however with illegal bookies.

“It went from $5 bets, $10 bets, and $200 bets to $500,” He said. He gambled on soccer, tennis, baseball, golf and golf. “I got a little bit of UFC, even,” He added that he was referring to Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Charlie realized something was amiss by the end of Charlie’s senior year. He was depressed and couldn’t sleep. His grades were dropping. and He owed multiple bookies $1,800. The sport of sports betting has grown from a casual hobby to a serious problem.

“I couldn’t stop countless times. I’ve turned $100 into $2,000 and then, within the same hour, lost all of that $2,000 plus another $500. And then you can imagine how depressing that feels, right? I mean, it’s just — it’s horrible.”

Sometimes students don’t realize they are unable to manage their gambling responsibly.

“The person who is developing into a problem gambler, for the most part, doesn’t want to stop gambling, because their head thinks, ‘This is fun. This is going to fix my problems,’ rather than, ‘I need to stop gambling because I’m destroying my life,” Michelle Malkin, an assistant professor from East Carolina University, studies the link between gambling and depression and crime. “It’s really hard, especially for a young person, to come to that conclusion.”

Charlie left Syracuse University in January, right as he was due to begin his final semester. and He sought treatment. Instead of graduating in May with his friends, he worked at a club golf course to pay his gambling debts. and Seeking help at a rehabilitation centre. He now attends Gamblers Anonymous weekly meetings and He is uncertain about his plans to go back to Syracuse.