Online gambling and gaming are activities that are most often associated with older adults but many people don’t realise that there are dozens of students enjoy these fun and exciting activities. For some students, however, gambling and gaming affect their life dramatically.
Gaming and Gambling: Important Facts
Many young adults in higher education enjoy gaming and gambling and while it may be seen as harmless fun for more people, there are some that struggle with self-control and can quickly become addicted to gaming or gambling as a form of release when struggling with the financial and academic pressures of higher education. In fact, around 264,000 UK higher education students risk developing gambling-related harm while 88,000 are already classed as addicts.
A 2019 study carried out by charity YGAM (The Young Gamers And Gamblers Education Trust) surveyed 2,000 students in higher education discovered that almost 80% played video games or gambled as a way to reduce stress. What’s more, 48% of said students claimed that gaming got in the way of their studying or relationships.
In the same study, YGAM found that 55% of students who gamble to escape the stress and pressure of higher education are constantly left worrying about their finances while 9 in 10 feel guilty about gambling. However, only a third of those who do gamble found it to negatively impact their wellbeing.
Younger Students Are Affected Too
Unfortunately, it’s not just students who are in higher education that are affected by gaming and gambling. A study by the UK Gambling Commission in October 2019, found that around 11% of the 11 to 16-year-olds surveyed had spent their own money gambling online seven days before taking part in the study.
Under 5% of the youths questioned also played on slot machines in the seven days prior to the study, and around 1.7% of 11 to 16-year-olds in the UK are classed as problem gamblers.
It doesn’t stop there as many children younger than 11 are exposed to gambling brands, websites, and games. Many children also play video games from a young age, something which can easily become addictive if not controlled properly.
Help & Support For Students
Luckily, there are charities like YGAM which work to provide help and support to young people who suffer from addiction to gaming or gambling. The charity, which was founded back in 2014, aims to inform and educate young and vulnerable people on the dangers of these activities, and it runs frequent education programmes and offers resources to anyone who is struggling.
What’s more, there is an NHS children’s gambling and gaming addiction clinic in London which offers help, support, and treatment to anyone suffering from addiction to these activities.
More importantly, anyone who believes that they or someone they know may be suffering from an addiction should try to reach out to organisations like YGAM or seek help from friends, family, and other loved ones for support and assistance.
These studies show that gambling does affect students of all ages and anyone suffering should not be afraid of reaching out for help. These activities are meant to be fun and should never get in the way of other parts of life.