The summer break is a double-edged sword; when you get so much time off all at once, boredom can kick in – especially when you run out of funds to fuel your adventures. Scarily, this is when more and more students discover the world of ‘free money’ – gambling.
Now, many of us gamble – whether it be doing the lottery, playing bingo or putting a bet on a race. However, the expansion of high-street bookmakers and the prevalence of online gaming sites means gambling is more accessible now than ever before. What was once a one-off bet can easily begin to be a regular gamble.
Over 20% of university students have gambled to make money at some point during their university life, more worryingly it’s reported that over 127,000 young people in the UK suffer with gambling issues or problems.
“Before term started I would wake up every day and the first website I loaded on my phone would be an online casino site. It didn’t matter which one, just whichever had the most money in it… Having several different accounts seems exciting but in reality it was even more of a stupid idea than gambling online in general.” – Anonymous CU Student.
Horror stories like these have continued to surface online making it easier to understand how some of the UK’s best and brightest can be so easily corrupted by the lure of the gambling industry.
The age-old rule to gambling is that ‘the house always wins’, and in the case of our anonymous student the habit almost cost them theirs..
“Having already been pretty heavily in debt by using my student loan to play online roulette, I’d also begun to bet on the weekend football, horse racing and greyhound races. [This lead] me to lose the money I’d saved for the deposit and first 3 months rent for my 2nd year house. With races every couple of minutes it’s ridiculously easy to lose a large amount of money fast.”
When it comes to gambling it’s absolutely fine to have a flutter with your mates on the weekend, as long as that’s how it stays. Once you start making regular trips to the casino, or feel like you’re spending your life logging in and out of online gaming sites, then it’s probably time to call it a day.
Often even if you win your bet, you’ll find the resulting cash isn’t quite enough of a fix to make you stop. It’s the chase – that’s the exhilarating bit, and that ‘rush’ is what people get addicted to. Believe me, no ten second high is worth dropping out of University for.