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Commission raises awareness of potential risks for students who gamble

12 September 2017

As this year’s fresher’s season gets underway, the Gambling Commission is raising awareness of the risks that students may face from gambling.

This comes following new figures indicating that 1.2million students gamble.

The Commission is sharing information to help students make informed choices about gambling and to gamble safely if they chose to do so.

Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission’s executive director for research, said:

“Two in three students gamble according to our new figures. Whilst many may do so without experiencing harm, for some, gambling can lead to debt, time away from lectures and potentially lead to a longer term problem with gambling.

“We want to encourage universities to provide the same level of information and support about the risks from gambling as they do for drugs, alcohol and safe sex.”

Tim adds: “We’ve published some tips for students about how to avoid risky gambling and the support that is available should they feel their gambling is becoming a problem.”

The results of the Commission's recent survey on students and gambling show that:

  • 1 in 8 student gamblers have missed lectures due to gambling
  • two thirds of students gambled in the last month
  • 54% of students who gamble do so to make money
  • 40% of students who gambled said it made them feel guilty
  • 1 in 4 student gamblers spent more than they could afford
  • 1 in 4 students who have gambling debt have debt over £10,000
  • 4% of student gamblers are in debt because of gambling.

Methodology: 1,000 interviews were conducted online by YouthSight with undergraduate students from 11-13 August 2017. Students are part of an online panel which is recruited from applicants through UCAS. Quotas were set to reflect the UK student population in terms of gender, course year and university group. Limitations: Participation rates may be higher than those reported from other methodologies (telephone, face-to-face) due to the self-selecting nature of online surveys. Online surveys have been conducted with this group due to their access to technology and the availability of a representative panel via this method and not for telephone or face-to-face interviewing.

The Commission is running a more in-depth study into the trends and behaviours of those that gamble at university and is calling all students to take part.

Note to editors

  1. Research was conducted by YouthSight in August 2017.
  2. National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 8020 133.
  3. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.
  4. Useful statistics on the gambling industry.

Journalists can contact our press office on 0121 230 6700 or email:

For all media enquiries, please contact the Gambling Commission press office.

Last updated: 11 August 2021

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