Students ‘gamble loans for cash’

Gambling Commission teams up with National Union of Students to prompt providers to do more to raise awareness of dangerous trend

More than half of students have gambled in the past year, with nearly half of those admitting to trying to make money from the activity, according to an NUS survey.

The results, supported by the Gambling Commission, showed 60 per cent of students had gambled, with 48 per cent doing so to make money. One in eight admitted to betting more than they could afford to lose, while almost a tenth said they had used some or all of their student loan as a stake.

Gambling can also lead to feelings of guilt, stress and depression

Helen Rhodes, Gambling Commission programme director, said: “These results add extra emphasis that there is a significant risk for young adults and for students that needs to be addressed.”

However, she added: “Caution must be taken to use these results in context, as the research does not seek to be representative of the population, and uses methodology which may slightly overestimate the role of gambling in students’ lives.

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“Our Gambling in Great Britain 2016 report found that almost half of 16-24 year olds had gambled in the past year. We continue to work with NUS and other partners to consider how the risks of gambling can be shared with students and to make sure support is available when it is needed.”

Eva Crossan Jory, NUS vice-president (welfare) said: “We are particularly concerned that around half of students who gamble are doing primarily to make money … there needs to be a renewed focus on the reasons why some students feel it’s necessary to supplement their income through gambling – which not only land students in even greater debt, but also can lead to feelings of guilt, stress and depression.”

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