Online gambling activities like bingo, poker, betting, or more specific types of gambling, have seen a huge increase in popularity as access is now easily available. Gambling carries the risk of criminal activity and can especially be an issue for vulnerable people. It can also be addictive, and you need to know when to stop. The Gambling Commission regulates the gambling industry and ensures that operators provide responsible gambling; their website has some useful information on gambling and how to keep safe when gambling.
In recent years, online gaming has been linked with gambling-like features, such as loot boxes and skins, through the promotion of extra payments for add-ons and in-game purchases. Gaming can become seriously addictive and increase your exposure to non-monetary gambling and gambling related advertising, which appear within games. YGAM and GamFam have specific guidance and support if you, or someone you know, needs help with gaming and gambling addiction.
In addition, problem gambling or gaming addiction could lead to involvement with cryptocurrency and online trading scams, both of which can target students and trick people into losing money. Find out more and how to keep safe from money making scams.
Evaluate your own gaming and gambling
Check out these articles to help you evaluate whether your hobby is enriching your life or might be heading in a negative direction:
If you've been affected by gambling or gaming and wish to speak to someone, there are a number of free services which you can access:
- Ara - Recovery4All
- YGAM for students
- Addiction Helper - what is gaming addiction?
- All Bets Are Off podcast – gambling harm amongst the student population
- GamCare – for local support, please email [email protected]
- Gamblers Anonymous – GA
- Gambling Commission – safer gambling.
There is a lot of information on the NHS website regarding gambling and where to find help.
Self-exclusion is a way to limit the amount of online gambling you're able to do by asking the gambling provider to exclude you from gambling with them for a set length of time. You can find out more on the following websites:
- Information on self-exclusion from the Gambling Commission (including GAMSTOP)
- Gamban – software to block online gambling sites and apps.
Useful apps to track spending
- Yolt: uses open banking to show you an overview of your finances. You can set and track budgets for 21 categories, including things like travel, groceries and housing.
- Money Dashboard: displays your spending in colourful charts and graphs, so you can see where your money’s gone at a glance.
- Cleo: this AI guide can answer questions about your finances. The app works through Facebook Messenger and lets you pay friends, set spending goals and alerts.
- Monzo: you can use this app to track different types of expenses, keep an eye on daily spending, put money aside and anticipate upcoming costs.
MoneySavingExpert also has lots of finance tips and tools, as well as information about the latest student deals and discounts.
Support at BU
If you feel that you need to talk to someone at BU find out more about our support and advice services on campus. You can also visit our financial support and budgeting pages.
BU has teamed up with GambleAware to deliver EROGamb: Enabling Responsible Online Gambling. The project helps gambling subscribers to visualise their gambling history to inform decisions on their gambling behaviour.
Along with behaviour change mechanisms to try and reduce problem gambling, they also enable gamblers to manage their gambling by goal-setting and self-monitoring.
You can find out more about the project on the Research blog.