STAYING SAFE AT UNI

SOCIETIES

Societies are amazing things. A central part of university life they bring together students from all walks of life together over a common interest. We have already spoke about the benefits of gaming or eSports societies but if you are a student gambler you could benefit from a society also.

By joining or setting up a football supporters society, fantasy football society, or similar you could find friends at uni to socialise or even compete with without the need to gamble. Even if this society does gamble on football, you should recommend having a member of the committee trained up to keep an eye out for everyone's wellbeing ensuring it doesn't get out of hand. Some universities will have poker societies or similar too - and these are supported by their students' union to prevent problem gambling also.

BUDGETING

Our research told us student gamblers who were most at risk have real trouble managing their finances. Whether you’re new to gambling or just new to having that much disposable income its important you take as many measures possible to control your budgeting. Your university student support (or equivalent) team will have tools online or in person to help with this. Seek them out and ask about this. They will also treat your conversation with confidentiality if you discuss gambling with them.

This includes gamers too! If you're prone to splashing the cash on loot boxes or in game purchases you could find yourself in a challenging position financially. These are often made impulsively or several are made in quick succession. Budgeting well could be key in not letting these get out of control.

 

INVOLVE YOUR FLATMATES

This year at University is going to feel a bit different. Limitations on households will exist to different extents and campus won't be as free flowing and sociable in parts. That's why its more important than ever you talk to your flatmates about everything, but specifically your gaming and gambling.

So they may not know much about it or share your enthusiasm but if you're open about how much you play, why you do it, and how much you spend, they can be aware if that changes. Those who game and gamble the most are less likely to discuss problems openly with others so if you have friends who can start that conversation it will make it easier for you to open up.

Why not involve them? Find out multiplayer games you can play, set up house tournaments, or set up a fantasy football or score prediction game in the flat that doesn't involve gambling. Having this involvement will probably help them understand and make it easier to talk to you about in return.

USE YOUR ADVICE CENTRES

Our research shows those most at risk of problem gaming or gambling are the least likely to be aware of the services that exist on their campus. If your gaming or gambling is beginning to impact your relationships at university or your degree success these are there to help.

We know it can be difficult to discuss gaming or gambling and we're working across the country to train up university staff teams further on these issues and provide support to staff. already these individuals are very supportive of the issues and will keep your issues confidential wherever possible.

If you're still concerned about discussing it with the university, you should go to your students' union in the first instance. Your students' union is dependent to the university and shouldn't share your information with the university unless you give them permission. This can often be the best first point of call if you don't feel comfortable disclosing.

If this still is difficult for you, your university may have a nightline, a confidential service where you can discuss your issues anonymously with a student. They may not be skilled to give an answer but will be a sympathetic ear in the first instance.

NATIONAL GAMBLING

The National Gambling Helpline provides confidential information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling problems in England, Scotland and Wales.

You can speak with their Advisers over the phone or via live chat every day of the year, 24 hours a day. They will be able to listen to what’s going on for you, and can talk you through all of the options available to you for support in your local area, online or over the phone.
Call them on Freephone 0808 8020 133

BANKS

A number of UK banks will let you block gambling transactions on your account. You can reverse this but the banks have different wait times on allowing you to deactivate. The following banks allow this as of June 2020: Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Monzo, Starling, Barclays, Santander, RBS and Natwest.

SELF EXCLUSION

There are a number of services which will stop you from accessing gambling websites or apps.
The two main services for this are Gamstop and Gamban but more are available and you should consider which is best for your needs.

For self exclusion from physical venues more information is available at

Find out more
  • GAMSTOP

    Enables you to put controls in place to restrict online gambling activities, currently only on selected sites but updates coming soon.

  • GamBan

    A paid for service to block access to online gambling services.

  • Gamblers Anonymous

    Group meetings, online forum and information for people struggling with a gambling problem.

  • Gordon Moody

    Advice, education and therapeutic support through residential, online and outreach services for men and women aged 18+.

  • GamCare

    Information, advice and support for problem gamblers and their families, through the National Gambling Helpline, online chats, forums and treatment programmes.

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