GamCare has launched its ‘Big Deal’ campaign, warning university students of the risks of problem gambling and the support networks available to help those concerned about their gambling behaviour.
Big Deal has been launched as university students return to campus, following the disruption of 2020 and 2021’s COVID-19’s lockdown on student life.
Lived experiences form key parts of the campaign, with former victims of gambling harms at university taking a central role in warning current students.
During September’s freshers week, GamCare launched a campus-focused campaign, warning students of signs of impulsive gambling behaviours.
The treatment support charity stressed the significance of targeting and making those aged between 18-21 aware of the risks of gambling before habits are normalised and reinforced.
“During this time of transition many young people are entering environments where gambling can be the norm – but there’s a lack of knowledge on how to recognise gambling harm or know where to turn to for support,” said Alexa Roseblade, Senior Programme Manager at GamCare.
She added: “There are many key drivers that contribute to this issue amongst students – having more time, personal independence and financial freedom with easy access to overdrafts and loans can encourage increased gambling behaviours. We launched BigDeal, a website to inform young people of the support on hand and importantly reassure them they are not alone.”
This autumn, GamCare will further the development of its Big Deal campaign by working with the Young Adult Advisory Board to raise awareness of gambling-related harms facing those aged 18 to 25 and to support them with specialised resources.