Students borrowing money to gamble

More than one in three university students who gamble use borrowed money to do so, according to the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM).

A survey of 2,000 students across the UK found that 80% of them have played. More than four in 10 (41%) of this group admitted that gambling had a negative impact on their college experience, including missing classes, homework deadlines and social activities.

More than a third (35%) of student gamblers are using student loan money, taking out an overdraft, taking out a payday loan, or borrowing from friends to finance their game. Nearly one in five students (19 %) admits to using his student loan to gamble.

The research, conducted by Censuswide, was jointly commissioned by Gamstop, the national online self-exclusion program, and YGAM, a charity that educates and protects vulnerable people from gambling and gambling-related harm.

The average spending on gambling for students is £31.52 per week, but almost one in five students (18%) admit to spending more than £50 per week. Less than half of gamers (45%) say they spend no more than £10 a week. Almost four in 10 (38%) say they gamble at least once a week, and 63% gamble at least once a month.

More than one in four (28%) say they gamble as often or more often than before the pandemic and 29% say they spend the same or more than before the pandemic. The most popular gambling products during the pandemic were the National Lottery (32%), online sports betting (25%) and online bingo (18%).

Almost half (46%) of students who gamble say winning money is a motivation – the most common reason given – and one in four (25%) say they like the risk. More than half (52%) say gambling makes them excited and one in three (33%) say it makes them happy, compared to one in five (21%) who describe feeling anxious.

Of students who gamble, more than one in three (36%) have invested in cryptocurrency in the past 12 months, compared to just 17% of non-gaming students.

Students also revealed that their friends are the biggest influence on their game (34%) with nearly one in four (23%) most influenced by social media and 14% of students identifying gambling advertising money as a key influence on their game.

Fiona Palmer, CEO of Gamstop, said: “Gambling harm on our campuses is a topic that is rarely discussed, but for all students with gambling problems, self-exclusion can give them valuable respite while they are looking for additional help. With online gambling becoming more prevalent during the pandemic, the research shows the importance of raising awareness of a free online self-exclusion service available to everyone.”

Daniel Bliss, Director of External Affairs at YGAM, said, “This research provides us with valuable insights into student behaviors during the pandemic. We want to build on this work to better understand how our programs can protect and support students. The findings reiterate the importance of educating our young people about the risks and harms associated with gambling. Education is a powerful tool to ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and understanding to help prevent harm . »

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