A view of two cards, an ace and king of hearts, on a casino table. 

New research out of the UK finds that gambling is becoming more popular among university students—and many are betting on using that money to pay for their college education.

According to a report from the Gambling Commission of UK, many UK students are getting involved in online betting in lieu of getting a traditional part-time job. In fact, 80% of young people have admitted to gambling at least once.

With the rising cost of tuition, some UK students might see gambling as an easy way to pay for university costs and living expenses. Currently, England’s grads are now leaving with almost £45,000 in student debt, and 64% of students worry about money either all the time, or very often.

While the UK’s number of young gamblers is relatively low, students are at greater risk of becoming problem gamblers than adults according to data from BeGambleAware, the UK charity that’s committed to addressing gambling issues. In 2015-2016, GambleAware funded treatment for more than 350 clients of ages 15-24 in northern England, with ten percent being students. And research shows that one in seven young people, ages 16-24, (14%) in the North-West of England have lied about their gambling habit.

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When it turns into an addiction, gambling is responsible for poor mental health, crime, and alcoholism. Of people who received treatment through GambleAware, 44% were found to be in some form of debt, 16% had lost a relationship due to their addiction, and six percent had experienced job redundancy.

To help offset this problem, GambleAware has started an online ad campaign in the North of England to help remove the stigma surrounding this type of addiction and encourage young people to seek help if needed. This could come in handy to students who find themselves gambling away their student loan payments.


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