The National Union of Students (NUS) has announced a new partnership with Gamban, an app that allows users to block their access to gambling online.
It drew attention to a report by The Gambling Commission which revealed that over 100,000 students are in some form of gambling debt and that one-in-eight undergraduates have missed lectures or seminars because of gambling.
Commenting on the new initiative, NUS president Shakira Martin said: “I’m proud to announce this positive step we are taking to address growing concerns about student gambling.
“We will be encouraging students’ unions to promote the app to students across the UK – I believe it will provide much-needed support to thousands of students currently grappling with addiction.
“However this cannot be the end of the conversation: we need to consider the serious impact that gambling is having on student debt.
“In particular, we need to look how many betting companies are preying upon student vulnerabilities, with those with existing mental health issues at greater risk. This means encouraging institutions and students’ unions to offer proper guidance and support, but also looking at new regulatory measures to crack down on this.”
The NUS hopes that Gamban will be able to provide support to thousands of students with mental health issues, who because of NHS and university budget cuts, along with rising service demand, are missing out on professional help and support.
Commenting on the new project, Oxford SU VP for Welfare and Equal Opportunities, Farheen Ahmed, said: “It is good to see steps being taken to tackle concerns around student gambling. If you are concerned about yourself or a friend, then please get in touch with our Student Advice Service who can offer help and signpost you to support.”
The Gamban app will be available to download for free for anyone with a university email address.