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22nd March 2024

Nearly half of student gamblers are gambling more than they can afford

The majority of students (60%) had gambled in the past 12 months, although this was a decrease from last year (71%) 
Nearly half of student gamblers are gambling more than they can afford
Photo: Darya Sannikova @ Pexels.

Content warning: mentions of addiction

The latest Annual Student Gambling Survey has revealed that 48% of students who say they gamble are gambling more than they can afford.

The research was jointly commissioned by Ygam and GAMSTOP and conducted by Censuswide. 2,000 UK students were polled. 60% of students had gambled in the past 12 months, a decrease from last year (71%).

The study found that 46% of student gamblers reported that gambling had negatively impacted their university experience.

This included as missing study deadlines and social activities, while also increasing financial pressure like covering essential expenses such as food.

The survey showed that student gamblers lost £35.25 a week on average, with 15% losing £50 or more per week. To fund their gambling, 32% are dipping into their savings, 23% are using their student loan, 10% are using money from their parents, and 8% are using their overdraft.

Friends remain the biggest influence on student gambling (34%), closely followed by sports events (26%), and social media (25%).

Four out of ten have been criticised by other people for their gambling or have been told they are gambling too much. More than half admit feeling guilty about their gambling.

21% of student gamblers are “problem gamblers,” a slight decrease from 24% of students surveyed last year.

Male students tend to spend more on average than female students on gambling.

GAMSTOP and Ygam have visited more than 30 university campuses over the past 12 months, raising awareness of gambling harms among students and the support that is available. 60% of students say they feel comfortable accessing university gambling support.

In response to the survey, Gambling Minister, Stuart Andrew MP highlighted that the government have “recently introduced online slot limits specifically for 18-24 year olds.”

He added, “we are introducing a host of measures this year that will better protect young people from gambling harms, including financial risk checks, tighter controls on advertising, and marketing and a statutory levy on gambling operators.”

Dr Jane Rigbye, Chief Executive Office at Ygam, and Fiona Palmer, CEO of GAMSTOP, both agreed that this research has shown the importance of educating students about the risk of gambling before they do so.

If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s gambling, The National Gambling Support Network provides free help and support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have care or influence over a child or young person and want more information about gambling harms and how to prevent them, you can register for a free online workshop through

Jacob Robinson

Jacob Robinson

Head Investigations Editor & MMG News Producer 2023-24 | Former Head of Talk Shows and Deputy Head of Podcasting at Fuse FM 2022-23

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