With the cost of student life constantly rising, some have resorted to measures such as gambling in order to keep afloat and to pay off tuition fees.
With smart phones easily connecting us to betting websites and with so many different areas of life covered by gambling, from X Factor to the World Sauna Championships, it is now easier than ever to place a bet.
This ease of access can be dangerous for students who are bored in lectures or have too much time on their hands. When using your phone for payment, it can be hard to picture the actual money leaving your pocket. All that can be seen is your bank account balance declining lower and lower, much like using your card on a night out.
High street gambling is also common among students, with many rushing into these establishments to make sure they can get their accumulators in before the 3pm football kick-offs.
Despite this popularity, the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010 showed that the student demographic were not the most prolific gamblers in the UK. Gambling participation was lowest among the youngest and the oldest age brackets, and highest among those aged 44 to 64.
Between the ages of 16 to 24, 68% claim they have gambled at least once in the year for a variety of reasons. The majority of participants reported that they gambled for the chance of winning big money (83%) and because it’s fun (78%).
However, the statistics do not show the amount of money that is won and lost in these bets.
In October, a British student lost £4,400 when he decided to place his entire student loan on Angola beating Mali in the African Cup of Nations. At the time of the bet, Angola were comfortably 4-0 up with just 10 minutes to go, but the unthinkable happened and Mali scored four goals at the death to grab a remarkable 4-4 draw. The odds on offer on Betfair were so steep that the student only stood to make £44 back from the wager.
For games which leave less to chance, on the other hand, it is not all doom and gloom. Many students around the world make good money from playing online poker. The skill involved means that there is less risk and players have some control in the outcome, unlike betting on sports. However, dangers of addiciton cannot be ignored, and can lead to disastrous consequences.
Gambling can be exciting and some money can be earned from it. However, like all risks, it is best to do it only in moderation to avoid nasty ramifications.