Putting the Chips down: Gambling in the Student Body

Reading the Statistics for Student budgeting is grizzly. Average spending is £745 a month, while receiving only £480 in maintenance loans. Although a fair proportion earn extra money through subsidisation from parents (71%), this still is not enough for some people; a% have a part time job. In trying to fund their studies, almost half of students turn to overdrafts.

Of the student body surveyed, 12% turned to gambling to fund their studies. The appeal in such work is not surprising given the amount of money relative to the amount of work one has to do. Seeing as almost one in eight students gambles, it may not be surprising that the UK is the fifth largest betting market, ironically measured by money lost gambling. The wave of online gambling, which started about a decade ago, now says that 90% of future growth could be in mobile. Online gambling is already extremely easy, you never physically see the money, you can always go back and you never have to bother even moving from the couch. With the rise of gambling even on phones, this is bound to worsen. Seeing the effects of gambling on relationships, both personal and romantic, is extraordinary. Student gambling is expected to rise given the increase in fees and living costs predicted, and the failure of the maintenance loans to adjust to the reality of living costs.

In all of this grime and dirt of the gambling industry, there are some that still retain a healthy attitude to the enjoyment of gambling. Chris Maguire lives in London, studying musical theatre. Playing poker several times a week, makes him between £10 and £40. This money funds most of his day-to-day living expenses. Starting when he was 14 with his father, he played for fun until he was old enough to play for real winnings. He has several tips, if you want to gamble, specifically poker, in Uni; “Only play what you can afford to lose, learn to play free and don’t play tired”.

Here you can see that he regards this as a ‘sport’ rather than a way to make money. Although he plays online, only for free it may be added, “I don’t get the adrenaline and excitement that I do in a face to face game” he remarks. He is just starting to get into book betting, where he cautions “if you don’t want to read up on it, stick to choosing the cool names and pretty colours once a year in the grand national”. Chris says that personally, if the bad spells become too much, he will take a month or two off of gambling. If you want to ask him about poker or gambling, he is available on Chris.maguire.1997@gmail.com .

Please remember that gambling can be very addictive. If you feel you may have a problem, please seek help. One of the national helplines is at: http://www.gamcare.org.uk/ and 08088020133

By Tim Knickmann

(Photo from : Alabama Today)

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