Concerns Raised Over UK Student Gambling Habits: New Study Highlights

student gambling concernA recent study conducted by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and Gamstop has brought to light concerning trends among university students in the UK with regards to gambling habits. The research, which is the third instalment first published in 2022, involved a survey of 2,000 students and was carried out by Censuswide.

Key Findings

  • Gambling Prevalence: 60% of students reported gambling in the past year, a decrease from 71% the previous year. However, 46% stated that gambling adversely affected their university experience, including missing deadlines and social activities.
  • Financial Impact: The average weekly loss for student gamblers was £35.25, totaling £1,833 annually. Remarkably, 15% of respondents are losing £50 or more each week, with many using savings, student loans, parental money, or overdrafts to fund their gambling.
  • Influences on Gambling: Friends, sports events, and social media were cited as the top influences on students’ gambling habits. This underscores the need for education on safer gambling practices.
  • Cryptocurrency: Interest in cryptocurrency among students has declined, with 32% engaging in the past 12 months, down from 40%.

Responses from Authorities

Jane Rigbye, CEO of YGAM, emphasized the persistent problem gambling rates among students despite a decrease in gambling participation. She highlighted the extended harms of gambling beyond financial losses. Fiona Palmer, CEO of Gamstop, noted a spike in young people registering for self-exclusion, indicating the importance of preventive education.

Government and Experts Weigh In

The UK government, responding to the findings, has introduced wager limits for online slots to protect young adults. Further measures include financial risk checks, advertising controls, and a statutory levy on gambling operators. Kellie McAlonan, chair of the National Association of Student Money Advisers, stressed the importance of educating student money advisers to support students effectively.

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