New Research Examines Gambling Harms Amongst Students

A survey of 2,000 students in the UK has found that one in four who gamble may be experiencing harm and that half of them say that gambling has had an impact on their time at university.

The survey found that 71% of respondents had gambled in the last 12 months, of which 28% were said to be at “moderate risk,” and 24% displayed behavior that can be categorized as “problem gambling”.

The research was carried out by Censuswide as a follow-up to last year’s survey that was commissioned by Ygam and GAMSTOP, the UK’s online self-exclusion service. This year’s survey included the Short-form PGSI, a measure of ‘problem gambling’, in order to give researchers the ability to measure the level of risk experienced by students.

It found that 48% of students who gamble said they did so to make money, but only 11% of them said they won money most weeks. A third said they spent £11-£20 a week on gambling, 23% spent £21-£50, and 13% spent £51-£100. 13% said that gambling caused them problems paying for food, 10% said that it led to missed lectures and tutorials, 10% said that it affected their grades, and 9% said that they struggled to pay bills. However, just 4.5% said that they are unable to stop gambling.

The research went on to make three recommendations:

1. Invest in education in schools in order to prepare young people for the risks related to gambling before they go to university.

2. That gambling harm should be part of every university’s health and well-being strategy.

3. More research should be carried out to gain a better understanding of the experience of students who gamble.

These findings give us insight into the attitudes and behaviors of students towards gambling. Building on the data published last year, we can now see that not only are a large percentage of the student population gambling on a regular basis, but many of them are also doing so in a way that may cause them to experience harm.
The data further emphasizes the importance of educating our young people on the risks associated with gambling. We’re working with our partners to tour university campuses across the UK to speak to students, deliver specialist training to university staff, and raise awareness. It is crucial that universities engage and take this issue seriously. We aim to work closely with many more universities to ensure they can help prevent the harms and support their students when they need it.

Dr Jane RigbyeYgam Chief Executive Officer

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