UK – According to a recent NUS (National Union of Students) survey, around 10 percent of students, or one in ten, have taken to gambling in order to supplement their income. This is to meet the rising costs of living which the government has failed to address via student support. This means, students have been gambling their student loans to help cover the added costs of present-day living.
While some have been able to add extra funds to their current situation by doing this, majority have however found themselves accruing debts of £5,000 or more because of such a practice. This has become a major concern for NUS since it puts such students in a tighter bind than before. It has been noted that one out of five have debts in excess of £5,000 and approximately 50 percent of students have gambling debts of more than £1,000 in their bid to increase their current funds.
These are funds that students can ill-afford to lose, with a rising percentage willing to bet more money than they should simply to try and win enough to cover rent, living costs, and other needs they have while they are at university. The rise in the number of students gambling their student loans has increased dramatically not only because of the lack of funds but also because technology has made it easier for them to do so without leaving their dorms.
In a bid to help pupils stop this habit, the Gambling Commission and NUS have asked institutions to do more to raise awareness to this problem. They are being asked to inform students that there are other options available to them, support is there, and that gambling is not the way to augment their funds.
Students are known to gamble not only because of the rising cost of living but also because there is a certain high that they get when they win. Unfortunately, winning is not as easy to do as losing. This is where students find themselves in a bind, when they can’t make rent because they’ve lost their stipend and are in debt because of the habit of trying to get more money via gambling.
There have now been increased calls to the government by various organizations like the UUK (Universities UK) to provide ample support to students in order to cover living expenses and other costs that they will incur while in school. This is seen to be one of the solutions to the problem, apart from increased education and awareness regarding the dangers of gambling and the harm in can bring, not online in financial terms but also emotionally and mentally.