Gambling has become the new vice in the society especially in learning institutions. Students are gambling like crazy which is making them lose focus. Others have gone to the extent of even committing suicide after spending all their funds on gambling. In the UK, the situation is far much worse, and this is a very worrying trend based on the figures from the Gambling Commission. According to Ben Haden of the Derbyshire programme, he says that the effect of gambling to undergraduates is very worrying.
The National Student’s Union is of the opinion that urgent action needs to be taken to minimize the risks associated with gambling. In an interview with the BBC, Matt Zarb-Cousin narrates his ordeal with gaming. He says that once he lost £2,500 in gambling machines just in a single day which nearly made him commit suicide.
Most students entering university are at a very high risk of engaging in such addiction due to peer pressure. In measures to curb this situation, the Gambling Commission has called for the institution to set up guidance and counseling centers to help students from getting hooked on gambling. The Commission also wants universities and other organizations to provide enough support and information about the risks associated with gambling just like they do with alcohol, drugs and practicing safe sex.
In a research conducted by the Gambling Commission through YouthSight involving 1000 participants, the results were devastating. According to the research results, at least three in every five students engage in gambling activities; this implies that at least 100,000 students in the UK are involved in one form of gambling or the other. In a country of about 1.7 million undergraduates, this makes a very significant percentage of the student population.
The Victoria Derbyshire Programme discovered devastating findings. The program t found out that one of UK’s prominent casinos, Grosvenor Casinos, operates a student poker league and also gives student discounts as well as free drinks to the students. On the other hand, the Gala Bingo Casinos targets students during freshers’ events in universities by setting their stalls during such fairs. Such actions by prominent casinos and clubs have accelerated the problem of gambling in schools.
One person who has experienced the harmful effects of gambling is Zarb-Cousin. Mr. Zarb came face to face while in university and became very much addicted to betting that he wouldn’t see any way out. He says that he made several overdrafts and student loans plunging him deep into gambling debts. Zarb adds that there is a need for universities to be aware of this problem within their student populace and device ways of addressing the situation. He also says that anyone is vulnerable to gambling and once in it becomes hard to get out.
In the wake of these findings, it is, therefore, our duty as a community to come up with means of curbing the spread of gambling. If left unattended, gaming is likely to lead to far-reaching adverse effects which will be hard to contain in the future.