YGAM: One-in-four university students experiencing gambling harm

YGAM has alerted stakeholders that “a quarter of all university students who gamble may be experiencing harm”. 

The warning follows a 12-month survey carried out by Censuswide on behalf of YGAM and GAMSTOP, examining the habits and feedback of 2,000 students in higher learning.

The survey’s headline insights saw 71% of students admit to gambling in the past 12 months, in which “28% were identified as ‘moderate risk’ and 24% had behaviour categorised as problem gambling”.

Of significance, half of the student respondents acknowledged that gambling had impacted their university experience – as 13% had trouble paying for food, 10% missed lectures and tutorials, 10% saying gambling affected their assignments and grades, and 9% struggled to pay bills or for accommodation”.

Further concerns were cited, as 8% of respondents stated that they had borrowed money from family and friends to gamble, whilst 6% had used a payday loan.

Elsewhere the survey relayed that more than 40% of students had purchased cryptocurrency in the last year – a trend much higher than the figure for the overall population.

YGAM has called on all universities to ensure that treatment support for gambling harms is recognised as part of their student health and wellbeing strategy.

Prior to university, YGAM noted that a broader investment in prevention education is required at schools to prepare young people for risks of gambling as they transition to adult life at university.

Research concluded that further research was required to better understand the experiences of students who gamble and how harms can be better prevented.

 YGAM CEO, Dr Jane Rigbye, said: “These findings give us insight into the attitudes and behaviours 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, many of them are doing so in a way that may cause them to experience harm.

“The data further emphasises 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 to 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.”