Students are betting more than £1,600 a year, and some much more, new research has found.
The survey of 2,000 students, commissioned by GAMSTOP and the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), found that 80 per cent of respondents gambled. Of those, 41 per cent said it led to them missing lectures, assignment deadlines or social events.
More than one in three students admitted to betting with borrowed money, with one in five using their student loan.
The most common form of gambling was the National Lottery (32 per cent), followed by online sports betting (25 per cent) and online bingo (18 per cent).
Students reported betting more than £30 a week on average, and nearly one in five admitted to spending more than £50 – more than £2,600 a year.
Bray Ash, a 29-year-old student at King’s College London, reflected: “When you go to university for the first time and you have student finance, money from your parents and other financial support you can be tempted to gamble recklessly.
“It took over my life – I wasn’t studying, I was just sitting in my halls gambling. In my second year of university, I ended up gambling away my student loan in the first 24 hours.”
The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,000 UK students aged 18+ between 13 December 2021 and 20 December 2021.
The survey has had its results weighted by gender to be 50/50.
Following the publication of the survey, YGAM, GAMSTOP and RecoverMe are launching a campaign in universities to raise awareness of gambling-related harm.
Last year, over 160 MPs and peers called on the Government to introduce new gambling reforms.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, signatories including Iain Duncan Smith and Carolyn Harris petitioned the Government to deliver on its 2019 manifesto commitments on the matter “to deliver social justice and a better future for all”.
Their letter also highlighted that more than 55,000 children aged 11 to 16 were now addicted to gambling.