January 18, 2022 3 min read


Censuswide Research Shows UK Students Are Exposed to Gambling Harm

According to a study by the research company Censuswide, 35% of university students in the UK have borrowed money to gamble at least once. This has sparked concerns about young people exhibiting signs of gambling harm.

The Results of Censuswide’s Survey

The survey was commissioned by the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust and Gamstop, an online self-exclusion tool. A total of 2,000 students participated in the research. Here are the results:

According to the data, 80% of the students have gambled at least once. More than a third of the respondents (35%) confirmed that they’ve borrowed money to gamble. This includes a variety of sources such as asking friends for money and taking payday loans. Additionally, 19% said that they’ve taken money from their student loans to fuel their hobby.

The majority (45%) spent no more than $14 per week on gambling. Yet, there were some who spent as much as $68 each week (18%). The most popular betting product seems to be the National Lottery with 32% of the young bettors preferring its offerings. Another 25% participate in sports betting and 18% find bingo to their liking.

Most of the students who bet (63%) would do so at least once a month. More than a third (38%) would gamble at least once a week. 

A total of 41% of the students said that participating in gambling has had a negative effect on their university life.

What Can Be Done to Avoid the Students Becoming Problem Gamblers?

When asked about their motive, 46% said that they use gambling as a means to gain money. Out of all student gamblers, about 25% said that they liked the thrill of an uncertain outcome. Overall, most students felt excited when gambling, with only about 20% admitting to feeling anxious when doing so.

It seems that the majority (34%) decide to get into gambling because of their peers. The others either see ads on social media (23%) or another type of adverts (14%).

Spokespeople from Gamstop and YGAM commented on the results. Daniel Bliss, the director of external affairs for YGAM, commented:

“This research provides us with some valuable insights into the behaviors of students during the pandemic. We’re keen to build on this piece of work to better understand how our programs can safeguard and support students.

YGDAM director of external affairs Daniel Bliss

He added that education on responsible gambling is crucial to helping university students learn how to be responsible adults.

Fiona Palmer, the chief executive officer of Gamstop said that many people tend to ignore how big of a problem gambling harm among the campus students can be. Because of this, it’s crucial to teach the youth about self-exclusion tools.

The two organizations that commissioned the survey have found the above numbers to be concerning. Because of this, they will work together with the gambling addiction management application RecoverMe and will launch educational materials targeted to students. The goal is to forewarn students of the dangers of gambling and help them make informed decisions and avoid becoming problem gamblers.

Adil Nayeem, the co-founder of RecoverMe, also spoke on the matter:

“This research highlights how the student population can be a high-risk group for gambling-related harm. RecoverMe gives students multiple strategies to manage acute urges and support those suffering from a gambling problem with a discreet, flexible and evidence-based program.”


Yasmin is an iGaming and gaming journalist with over 10 years of writing about various publications. Her experience spans the entirety of iGaming, traditional sports, as well as online poker. She is well-versed in every aspect of online gaming and her wealth of knowledge provides additional substance to our coverage.

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