University students turn to payday loans to pay for betting habits as one in six who gamble say they have a ‘problem’ with it
- One in six students who gamble have a ‘problem’ with it, a study has uncovered
- Almost half said betting left them unable to go out or to attend their lectures
- One former student said he blew a £1,200 student loan on bets within 24 hours
University students are blowing an average of £1,700 a year on betting, a study of the epidemic sweeping Britain has found.
One in six students who gamble have a ‘problem’ with it and 57 per cent said they had used borrowed money, including payday loans, to place a bet in the past year.
Almost half (48 per cent) said betting had left them unable to afford to go out with friends, caused them to miss lectures and had impacted on their grades.
One former student told The Mail on Sunday that he became so addicted to gambling that he blew a £1,200 student loan within 24 hours.
The survey of the 2,003 students in the Censuswide poll found the average student wagered £33.77 a week, or £1,756 a year.
After the National Lottery, the most popular form of gambling was online sports betting, followed by online bingo.
One in six students who gamble have a ‘problem’ with it and 57 per cent said they had used borrowed money, including payday loans, to place a bet in the past year (Stock Image)
Worryingly, four in ten students said they had invested in cryptocurrencies in the last 12 months, which experts have warned is no different to gambling due to the wildly unpredictable swings in value of the digital currencies.
The research was commissioned by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and GamStop, a free service that allows punters to restrict online gambling.
YGAM chief executive Dr Jane Rigbye said: ‘A large percentage of the student population are gambling on a regular basis, many in a way that causes them to experience some level of harm.’
Recovered gambling addict Bray Ash said he once blew his entire £1,200 student loan grant in one day while he was studying at Leeds Beckett University.
He said: ‘I suddenly had all this time on my hands and money. It got totally out of control. I was gambling online at home and even during lectures.’
Mr Ash, 30, from Kent, said he had gambled away more than £40,000 by the time he sought help and used GamStop to block him from betting online or going into bookmakers. Now he is training to become a mental health nurse.
He said: ‘Gambling is so glamorised. You see people posting online all the time about how much money they are winning but you don’t see the losers. You only see the one per cent who become rich.
‘I think the problem is getting worse among students. Young people now are bombarded with adverts on TikTok and Instagram by gambling companies and there has been an explosion in online gambling and crytocurrency trading platforms. It is really worrying.’
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