A survey of 2,000 students commissioned by self-exclusion scheme Gamstop and the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) found that 80% of them had gambled.
Of these, 35% had used money from their student loans, overdraft, borrowed from their friends or taken out a payday loan. According to the research, which was conducted by London-based consultancy firm Censuswide, the mean gambling spend for students was £31.52 per week, though 18% admitted to spending more than £50 per week.
According to the report 38% gamble at least once per week, with 63% gamble at least once per month. The most common reason provided was to make money, with 46% of students giving this as their primary motivation. 52% said that gambling makes them feel excited, and 33% said it makes them happy. Students who had gambled were also more likely to invest in cryptocurrency. 36% of those who said they do gamble had made an investment in cryptocurrency over the past 12 months, while only 17% of those who said they do not had acquired cryptocurrency.
Ivan Kurochkin’s comments
At first glance, it may seem that the figure of 80% of students who gambled at least once is daunting. However, everything falls into place if we take into account the COVID19 pandemic.
Let's remember what we were doing at the beginning of the pandemic, in addition to the most popular activity, which is to panic, we transferred our work communication to Zoom, went to Netflix instead of movies, we started ordering food at home instead of going to restaurants, some of us even felt nostalgic about working in the office.
Now let's imagine the situation that students found themselves in during the pandemic, especially at the beginning of the whole story, when the fate of their study curriculum was completely unknown. Young people tend to underestimate risk and make highly emotional decisions. Add to that all the free time they've had since the start of the pandemic, mixed with the convenience of betting on mobile, and you've got a highly engaged audience that doesn't understand the risk well and is driven by the intense emotions that the game evokes.
The conclusion that we can make from the study is that more opportunities should be created to convey information about the negative impact of excessive gambling and tirelessly inform the population that it is absolutely normal to seek help, that this can and should be done. One can speculate as much as one wants on the topic of how effective are the mechanisms of self-exclusion from gambling, however, at least one case of a student asking for help, either on their own initiative or at the request of relatives and friends, is enough to understand that the work that Gamstop and Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust are doing is extremely important and helps not only the students experiencing problem gambling, but the entire industry, that works to support responsible gambling and takes care of the players, regardless of their age and financial capabilities.