Increasing numbers of university students are blowing their loans away due to gambling addictions.
Many of them are excited by the idea of receiving a large sum of money at once. With this new stash they decide to increase their funds by quick bouts of easy gambling. The problem is more prevalent than many realize. According to a survey by Save the Student as many as 20 percent of university students gamble in an effort to gain more money.
More than Money Troubles
Occasional trials are rarely devastating, but for many students the problem goes beyond financial losses. Many young people are becoming addicted to the activity. Those who start at a young age are at increased risk for having serious gambling problems as adults. Gambling addiction has been shown to have links to crime, alcohol abuse, poor mental health and diminished educational success.
Ease of Participation
Many start out spending just £20 a week on fixed odds betting machines at bookmakers’ shops then resort to the convenience of staying at home and betting on online games, a change that can see some students lose up to thousands of pounds each hour.
While non-addicts are at the university library studying away for exams, those with gambling addictions are at the machines hoping for a lucky break. Others are online betting on roulette games or football matches. Betting online removes the ability to physically exchange money, thus the player may not realize how much he or she has spent at one time.
Over 125,000 young people are estimated to have a serious gambling problem in the UK, with the ability to participate being made even easier than before. Due to the revised Gambling Act, casinos and shops no longer require membership from participants. In addition, gambling sites and bookmakers are allowed to advertise their services on television.
In response to the growing problem organizations such as gambling charity Gamcare recognize the need to address university students as do the universities themselves. Student finance officers reach out to the organization and request their assistance in providing information to those that may have a problem. Unlike drug addictions, gambling addictions have no physical symptoms and may go unnoticed. In addition, the problem is not as commonly recognized or understood.