Study Reveals Gambling Habits of University Students

Gambling Habits of University Students

A new gambling related study only ever seems to be just around the corner. The latest has been carried out by Censuswide and looks at the gambling behaviour of British university students. It found that over a third had borrowed money to gamble.

The study was commissioned by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and Gamstop who run an online gambling self-exclusion service. 2,000 students were surveyed and 80% of them said they had placed bets at some time.

35% of those surveyed said that the money used to gamble had ben taken out of their student loan/overdraft or borrowed from friends. Some had even taken out payday loans so that they could gamble. 19% said they’d specifically used their student loan for gambling purposes.

When it comes to how much is being gambled, the average amount spent was £31.52. However, 18% said that they gambled more than £50 a week. 45% didn’t spend anywhere near as much, saying they gambled less than £10 per week.

38% of those who said they gambled, did so at least once a week. For some though it was a lot less with 63% saying they only placed bets once a month. The pandemic has affected the way we gamble, especially online.

28% of those surveyed replied that their time spent gambling is as often or more often than since the pandemic began. However, 29% said that they spend as much or more than before the pandemic.

When asked what they gamble on, 32% of the university students were regular players of the National Lottery. 25% were betting online on sport and 18% played online bingo.

Why do they gamble though?

46% said that making money is their main reason. A quarter replied that they enjoyed the risk of trying to win money. Over half believe that gambling is exciting and a third replied that gambling made them happy. However, 20% felt that it made them feel anxious and 41% told the study that their gambling had negatively impacted their experience of being at university.

Just what influences the students to gamble? 34% gave the answer that their friends influence them. Social media influenced 23% and gambling advertising 14%. It’s interesting that all those advertisements had such a low figure.

A Gambling Support University Tour is now going to be launched by YGAM, Gamstop and RecoverMe. The latter is an app that has self-help tools that can be used by those who have a gambling problem. This campaign will aim to raise awareness of the problem of gambling harm among the university student population. It will also promote the support that is available.

All three organisations will be part of the tour, which will visit British university campuses. They will speak with students and university staff. YGAM will also offer City & Guilds assured training for university teams. This will improve their ability to support students who are having problems with their gambling.

Daniel Bliss is the director of external affairs for YGAM. He said that the research gives “some valuable insights” into the behaviour of students during the pandemic. The plan now is to “build on this piece of work to better understand how our programmes can safeguard and support students.”