NUS offers responsible gambling app for students
The National Union of Students (NUS) is partnering with Gamban, a responsible gambling app developer, to work together to crackdown on gambling among students.
The two have released an app which will be available on desktop and mobile devices and will be free to those with a university registered email address.
The app works simply; by installing it on a device, access to gambling websites and apps via that device will be blocked. The software will also record user activity, with the data used to model, predict and then prevent potentially harmful or problem gambling in the future.
The NUS is said to have taken action on the issue after a report by the UK Gambling Commission showed that over 100,000 students in the UK have debt caused by gambling.
The app has a similar function to GAMSTOP, a self-exclusion scheme rolled out by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) recently. GAMSTOP allows users to self-exclude themselves from all participating operators simultaneously through the service, rather than having to do so individually at each operator.
However, the system has not performed well so far. One flaw has been that the system does not opt users out of receiving promotional mail from gambling firms even after they have excluded themselves from accessing the sites. The UK Gambling Commission has voiced its dissatisfaction with GAMSTOP to the RGA.
Speaking about the partnership and the app, NUS President, Shakira Martin, said:
I’m proud to announce this positive step we are taking to address growing concerns about student gambling. We will be encouraging students’ unions to promote the app to students across the UK – I believe it will provide much-needed support to thousands of students currently grappling with addiction. However this cannot be the end of the conversation: we need to consider the serious impact that gambling is having on student debt. In particular, we need to look how many betting companies are preying upon student vulnerabilities, with those with existing mental health issues at greater risk. This means encouraging institutions and students’ unions to offer proper guidance and support, but also looking at new regulatory measures to crack down on this.– Shakira Martin, President of the NUS.