Research highlights impact of student gambling on university study
Wales Daily Life 2019
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Research shows 80% of students gamble and highlights impact on university study

Vincent Ralph January 20, 2022

Gambling is a growing problem among students, with the Guardian citing research from two independent bodies. The results show that thousands of people currently at university bet an average of £30 a week. At a time when the cost of living is risking at the highest rate for 30 years, that number is alarming.

Students’ struggles with money are well known. And the issues many face through gambling cannot be understated.

Despite the things put in place to help those affected by gambling addiction, it remains a nationwide problem. Quite simply, we need to do more as a country to help those putting their finances – and their mental health – at risk.

The report came from YGAM youth gambling charity and Gamstop, building on previous research that found a huge 88,000 students had a problem.

Huge numbers

The latest survey, taken by 2,000 students, showed that 80% gambled, with close to half that number admitting being stretched beyond their means. In some cases that meant using their student loan or borrowing from friends. In others, using bank overdrafts or taking out payday loans.

Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The debt people can get into is a terrifying prospect and can lead to tragedy; as we have seen too many times already.

Learning Impacted

The impact is also felt in terms of study. According to the report, 41% of students have missed lectures, deadlines or social activities due to their betting.

It has never been easier to place a bet. Once reserved for physical betting shops, the activity is now easily done online and via scratch cards.

It is all well and good selling people a dream, but betting companies need to do more. There has been some progress. However, there is still a long way to go.

The Betting and Gaming council funds the £10m Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme. This is aimed at targeting every 11 to 19-year-old in the country.

If you are currently struggling with your gambling, you can contact the following organisations for help:

National Gambling Treatment Service

National Problem Gambling Clinic

NHS – Help for Problem Gambling

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Vincent Ralph is Senior Managing Editor at GRV Media. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Greenwich and later completed his NCTJ in Newspaper and Magazine Journalism while studying in Cornwall. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years. He joined GRV Media in 2014, working his way up from football writer to a senior member of staff. After two years as Managing Editor of Rousing The Kop and The Boot Room he became Senior Managing Editor of new student website Freshered. Vincent is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and his second novel is also a USA Today bestseller and the winner of the Southern Schools Book Award.