A recent comprehensive study conducted by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and Gamstop has uncovered concerning trends regarding the gambling habits of university students in the UK. The third edition of the in-depth Censuswide research that has been in the works since 2022 offers a thorough examination of the gambling habits of UK university students.

One of the most striking things that came out of the survey was that over half of the students in the UK who gamble end up spending more than they had planned. Although there has been a little decrease in the overall involvement rates of gambling among students (60% vs. 71% last year), there are still valid worries about the negative effects of gambling on students’ academic and financial well-being.

Notably, 46 percent of students said that gambling had impacted their college experience adversely. This impact extends to missed deadlines, social isolation, and financial strain to cover essential expenses such as food.

On average, student gamblers are losing approximately £35.25 per week, amounting to a substantial annual sum of £1,833. Moreover, many students resort to tapping into their savings, student loans, and parental support to sustain their gambling activities.

In addition to the monetary costs, the research highlights the emotional toll of gambling addiction; for example, 40% of students who gamble confess to receiving judgment from others, and over 50% report feeling guilty about their gambling activities.

A Social Problem?

Findings from this research provide important insight into how peer pressure and other environmental variables impact students’ propensity to gamble. This implies that the need to provide young people with a thorough education on safer gambling habits cannot be overstated, especially considering the key factors mentioned: friends, social media, and sporting events. This will help to reduce the hazards connected with excessive gambling.

According to YGAM CEO Jane Rigbye, who addressed the study’s results, there has to be a coordinated effort to combat compulsive gambling among students, especially considering the continuing cost of living crises. Similarly, Fiona Palmer, CEO of Gamstop, talks about how important it is to educate young people about the hazards of gambling and how self-exclusion registrations have been on the rise among young adults.

The research has also caught the eye of policymakers, who have taken note of the fact that young individuals are more susceptible to the negative effects of gambling (Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew, 2019). To counteract this, the government has instituted limitations on gambling advertising and set wager limits for online slots to shield young people from the negative effects of gambling.