SBC News YGAM & GAMSTOP report that 28% of student gamblers are at risk of harm

YGAM & GAMSTOP report that 28% of student gamblers are at risk of harm

“Nearly half of British university students who gamble, report doing so beyond their financial means” is the headline finding of the third Annual Student Gambling Survey, commissioned by YGAM and GAMSTOP.

Research conducted by a Censuswide survey, polling 2,000 students on UK campuses, revealed a decrease in gambling participation among participants over the last year, from 71% to 60%.

Providing a breakdown of student gambling trends, 46% of respondents detailed that gambling had impacted their university experience. Impacts included missing study deadlines and social activities, as well as adding pressure to cover basic expenses such as food.

Insights revealed that male students tend to spend more on gambling than female students, with an average loss of £35.25 per week among student gamblers. The most common forms of gambling are online sports betting for male students and the National Lottery for female students.

On spending habits, student gamblers fund their gambling through various means: 32% use savings, 23% use their student loan, 10% use money from parents, and 8% use their overdraft.

Responding to trends detailed by YGAM and GAMSTOP’s report, NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisers) highlighted the need for Student Money Advisers to be well-informed to support students affected by gambling.

Kellie McAlonan, Chair of NASMA, said: “It is concerning to see the extent to which students are impacted by gambling. It is more important than ever that Student Money Advisers are appropriately educated to best support students, and to contribute to harm prevention measures… YGAM’s education programmes are integral to this.”

Referencing the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), research indicated that 28% of student gamblers are at “moderate risk,” with a slight decrease in “problem gamblers” from 24% to 21%.

YGAM CEO Dr. Jane Rigbye emphasized the importance of education programmes in universities to address gambling-related harms – “Since last year’s report, students have faced increased financial strain amidst 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. With gambling seemingly entrenched in university culture and participated in by the majority of students, the importance of our educational programmes with students and universities cannot be overstated.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has responded to the report findings, stating that the UK is set to introduce new staking limits and financial risk checks to better protect consumers in the 18-to-24 age range.

Stuart Andrew MP, Gambling Minister, said: “Whilst millions of people gamble safely and without harm, we know that young adults can be more vulnerable to gambling related harms, which is why we recently introduced online slot limits specifically for 18-24 year olds.

“Alongside this, we are introducing a host of measures this year that will better protect young people from gambling harms, including financial risk checks, tighter controls on advertising, and marketing and a statutory levy on gambling operators.”

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