YGAM and Gamstop study raises concerns about student gambling in the UK

The study is in its third year.
The study is in its third year.

The study found that nearly half of university students who bet spend more than they can afford.

UK.- A study commissioned by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and Gamstop has found that close to half of UK students who gamble spend more than they can afford.

The research conducted by Censuswide, found that 60 per cent of 2,000 students had gambled in the previous 12 months. That’s a drop from 71 per cent in 2023. However, 46 per cent said gambling had impacted their experience at university, including missing deadlines and social activities.

Those who gambled reported losing £35.25 a week on average, or £1,833 a year. Some 15 per cent reported losing £50 or more per week. Meanwhile, 32 per cent said they used savings to bet, 23 per cent used their student loan, 10 per cent used money from parents and 8 per cent used their overdraft. Online sports betting was the most popular vertical among men, and National Lottery among women.

There appears to have been a decline in interest in cryptocurrency, with 32 per cent having bought crypto compared to 40 per cent in 2022.

YGAM CEO Jane Rigbye said: “Since last year’s report, students have faced increased financial strain amid the ongoing cost of living crisis. Despite a notable decrease in gambling participation rates among students over the past three years, problem gambling prevalence rates remain stable, significantly higher than those in the general population. We know the multifaceted harms associated with gambling extend beyond financial implications and any level of harm is unacceptable.”

Gamstop CEO Fiona Palmer added: “We have seen a significant spike in the number of young people registering for self-exclusion, with 16- to 24-year-olds making up around one in four of Gamstop registrants. This shows the importance of educating them about risk before they develop a problem.”

GamCare has reported the UK’s National Gambling Helpline received a record 52,370 calls and online chats in 2023. The figure represents a rise of 24 per cent compared to 2022.

The month with the most calls was August 2023, while December saw the highest year-on-year rise, with Christmas being the busiest period on record. Part of the increase was due to the launch of its WhatsApp service in February. It received 6,000 interactions through this channel.

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