UKGC: Decrease in Problem Gambling Amongst Young People

The annual study into gambling behaviour of students in the United Kingdom shows that almost half of students lose more money from gambling than they can afford to lose. This has affected the financial situation of half of the respondents. At the same time there has been a huge decline in the number of problem gamblers amongst students in the UK. 

The research into the gambling behaviour of the university’s students is carried out by GAMSTOP and Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) on behalf of GAMSTOP. Last week, YGAM announced its findings giving both hopeful perspectives and negative findings.

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Survey By YGAM and GAMSTOP

The percentage of young people in the United Kingdom classified as “potentially problematic gamblers” has dropped with 2.4 percent, whilst the percentage of those categorised as non-troubled gamblers has also decreased from 27.3 percent since 2022. Moreover, the portion of individuals who completely abstained from gambling (both land-based and physically) has risen to 74 percent, showing an overall increase of 5.5 percentage points.

It is the third year in a row that the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has conducted research into the gambling behaviour of university students in collaboration with GAMSTOP. A total of 2,000 students from the United Kingdom were surveyed, 60% of whom had gambled in the past twelve months. That is a decrease compared to a year earlier, when that percentage was 71%. The most common gambling activity among male respondents was sports betting, whilst the national lottery was the favourite category amongst female respondents.

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Half Of Respondents Affected By Gambling Behaviour

Almost half of those surveyed indicated that their financial situation has been affected by their gambling behaviour. They mentioned, amongst other things, missing deadlines at school, or increased pressure to cover basic expenses such as food. This automatically suggests that many of the respondents gambled more than they could actually afford. The research found that students lost an average of £35.25 (NZD 56.40) per week on gambling, which equates to £1,833 (NZD 2,932.80) per year. In addition, 15% of students lost £50 or more per week.

Nearly one-third of the group used their savings account for this purpose, whilst almost a quarter used their student loans to cover the loss. Another 10% also used money from their parents, and 8% ended up in the red at the bank. The researchers also used the Problem Gambling Severity Index to look at the risk of gambling behaviour. The moderate risk group remained the same at 28%, while the problem gambler group fell to 21% from 24% a year earlier.

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Better Protection Of Young People

Stuart Andrew, the UK gambling minister, says the government is working on new changes to the gambling law to better protect young people. He mentions, among other things, multiple limits on online pokies for players between the ages of 18 and 24:

“Whilst millions of people gamble safely and without harm, we know that young adults can be more vulnerable to gambling-related harm. That’s why we recently introduced online pokie limits specifically for 18 to 24 year olds. In addition, this year we are introducing a large number of measures to better protect young people from gambling harm, including financial risk controls, stricter controls on advertising and marketing and a statutory levy on gambling operators.”

Stuart Andrew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society

GAMSTOP CEO Fiona Palmer also commented on the study’s findings:

“This is the third year that we have been researching and gaining insight into the student gambling landscape, which forms the basis for our Gambling Support University Tour, where we educate students about gambling risks and guide them through support. We have seen a significant spike in the number of young people registering for self-exclusion, with 16-24 year olds making up around one in four GAMSTOP registrants. All together, this shows how important it is to educate them about risks before they develop a problem.”

Fiona Palmer, CEO GAMSTOP

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About GAMSTOP

GAMSTOP is a British organisation that enables players who are resident within the UK to apply a self-exclusion for up to a period of 5 years. This blocks them from gambling across all online gambling operators that hold a licence of the UK Gambling Commission. GAMSTOP is often referred to by online casinos that are available in New Zealand. Information offered on the GAMSTOP website can be helpful to Kiwis who consider themselves problematic gamblers or do not feel sure about their gambling behaviour. CherryRed Casino enjoys online gambling very much, but always stresses the importance of responsible gaming. Only spend money you can afford to lose or refrain yourself from gambling otherwise.

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