YGAM Commissioned Student Research

In 2019, YGAM commissioned Red Brick Research to undertake research into gaming and gambling among undergraduate students, with more than 2,000 undergraduates and postgraduates surveyed. The survey found that 79% of students reported that they gamed, with 35% gaming most days and 17% gaming every day. Almost half of those who gamed every day felt it had gotten in the way of their academic performance.

How Gambling & Gaming Affect Student Life

This is an extraordinarily insightful piece of research into attitudes and behaviours of students around gaming and gambling, which not only supports YGAM’s University and Student Engagement Programme, but it will ideally result in follow up research, to unpick some of the findings.

Reading the report, I have both a sense of satisfaction and growing concern of the scale of the task at hand. Earlier in the year when I prepared the initial scope for this research, I was convinced this was a priority for YGAM so as to provide a platform to better inform our support to students, and to provide evidence to ensure the issues become more of a priority for policy makers and Universities. Some of the themes that particularly jump out are the scale of numbers of young people at risk, not just financial or digital resilience but also knock on factors such as mental health and wellbeing, stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, academic performance and even the potential to drop out of their courses.

YGAM continues to be a contemporary and agile charity responding to young adults’ education needs around safer gambling and gaming. I am looking forward to working with the YGAM team, higher education sector and the industries to make this more than just insightful research, it needs to lead to practical action.

Mike Wojcik – YGAM Chair

This insight report provides valuable statistics on the prevalence and behavioural habits for university students. Specifically, the report provides a detailed breakdown of gameplay, gambling behaviours, and the implications for student life. Representing university students is particularly important as university life provides potential vulnerabilities, such as the changes in financial circumstances and time management.

Gaming continues to be a popular past time among university students, with developments in technology creating more potential overlaps between gaming and gambling. Some of these developments include the gamification of gambling and increased accessibility of both gaming and gambling. Therefore, the merit of this report is shown through including and representing gaming and gambling behaviour together.

A further highlight of the report are the suggested recommendations to support university students with gaming and gambling. This data will provide value for researchers and practitioners, as well as those in Higher Education working with students, and the student population.

This combination of gaming and gambling behaviour also provides a good foundation for the following: further research in the area, teaching students about gaming and gambling behaviour, comparing and contrasting gaming and gambling behaviour, and developing further support for university students.

Dr. Sarah Hodge

Lecturer in Cyberpsychology and Psychology, Bournemouth University 

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