The freshers are in full swing - but is more support needed?
As the leading UK provider of free advice and support for anyone affected by gambling, GamCare has identified that University students need to be better educated on potential risks they may encounter whilst they are away from home.
This comes after a recent survey from the Gambling Commission which found that young people are “the most susceptible to experiencing gambling harm after achieving independence from parents. Almost a quarter of student gamblers are at some degree of risk from gambling and ‘problem gamblers’ arise from the desire for a quick, feel-good fix.”
The transitional period for students can be rife with difficulties as they adjust to a new lifestyle which GamCare senior programme manager, Alexa Roseblade, noted as she said: “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.”
Further adding that: “We know from our Young Person’s Gambling Harm Prevention programme that many young people view gambling as a way to make money, yet this belief can leave many empty-pocketed at key points in the university cycle.”
An effort to help
In order to raise awareness for gambling harm among students, GamCare is collaborating with their sister organisation BigDeal, a website that offers support for young people in regards to gambling, to work with a Young Adult Advisory Board in order to do this. They intend to inform 18 to 25-year-olds about the harm that comes with irresponsible gambling and how to find support.
“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,” said Roseblade. “We launched BigDeal, a website to inform young people of the support on hand and importantly reassure them they are not alone.”
GamCare has been pushing developers and operators to reach an acceptable standard with Playtech being their first recipient for the GamCare B2B Safer Gambling Accreditation back in July 2021.
GamCare want to “break down the stigma surrounding gambling problems”
GamCare's education and training lead for the South East and East of England, Matt Burgiss, works with young people to help them avoid making the same mistakes he did at university.
”At first, I signed up for online (gambling) accounts with a couple of different companies. It was just a couple of quid here and there and I thought I’d be able to make a bit more money. I would still say I was gambling socially at this point, but it got heavier as I came towards the end of university.”
“I really feel it’s so important to focus on educating young people about the risks of gambling, and how quickly it can stop being fun if you’re not careful,” Burgiss commented. ”Together with parents and professionals working with young people, we can give them the facts they need to make the best decisions for themselves, and we can work on changing opinions about gambling for the better.”
He added that he thinks it's important to share his experiences so that they can make a positive change. Burgiss finished off his statement by saying: “We can break down the stigma surrounding gambling problems.”
Here at No Wagering, we are committed to providing safe and sensible gambling. Be sure to check out our dedicated responsible gambling page for more information on the topic and organisations that can assist you in any way.