Gambling on campus a growing problem

GAMBLING on college campuses has become a serious problem, said Gamblers Rehab Centre (GRC) president Wawa Lim. He urged educational institutions and parents to curb this menace before it got out of hand.

He told The Malaysian Insight that the matter had aroused heated discussion ever since news of the gambling activities at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) Sungai Long campus broke on social media.

He said GRC had dealt with cases where college students ended up owing thousands of ringgit.

“This seems to be an increasingly ‘common’ phenomenon. Students share with their classmates their experiences of online gambling and everyone gets into it,” Lim said.

“Learning institutions can take stern measures such as points deductions if they (students) are caught; students can be expelled, but more importantly, parents must set an example,” he said.

“Most of them gamble at home so children learn from them,” he added.

New Students Movement Alliance of Malaysia secretary Liow Pin Chun believes gambling is not common in colleges.

“I have never seen gambling activities in colleges, and the people around me have no gambling habits,” she said.

Utar New Youth representative Wong Yan Zhi said the matter should not be overstated.

“Although gambling and setting off firecrackers are illegal, people still do these things during major festivals.

“This proves that the law is no longer suitable for Malaysian society. The cabinet also legalised firecrackers.

“Gambling is obviously illegal, but as long as it doesn’t hurt others, it’s just a pastime.”

Wong, however, stressed that this did not mean that people were encouraged to gamble.

Utar, through its registrar office, issued a statement that the university would immediately investigate any gambling incident as it prohibited the activity.

“The school hopes that everyone will let the university conduct investigations in accordance with procedures, without interference.”

According to social media posts, a student had used a “math competition” to get others to openly gamble.

The student promoted the event on social media, and wrote, “Mathematical ability is very important to entrepreneurs, so this association decided to hold a math competition.” – March 8, 2023.