NUS is proud to announce a new partnership with gamban® – helping users to block access to online gambling. The app is available for free to any student with a verified “.ac.uk” university address.

Last year, we released advice for students on how to stay safe whilst gambling. Whilst many students gamble safely, for others it can soon quickly escalate out of control.

The Gambling Commission revealed recently there are students running up debts of £10,000 or more. Over 100,000 students are in some form of gambling debt and one-in-eight undergraduates having missed lectures or seminars because of gambling. We also know that many of these students are amongst the most vulnerable – and gambling addiction can be both a cause of and trigger for further mental health issues. We desperately must do more to protect students from harmful gambling.

That’s where gamban® comes in. The app is proven to have protected thousands of individuals from gambling-related harm.

Commenting on the success of the app Matt Zarb-Cousin, on behalf of gamban®, said:

“At university, students suddenly have access to overdrafts, loans and a huge amount of spare time. This can be a very dangerous combination, particularly given young people are more likely to get addicted to gambling. That’s why we’re giving gamban® away for free to students, which enables the blocking of all gambling sites and apps.”

Shakira Martin, NUS President 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 [gamban®] 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 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.”

The app will be freely available to any student with an email from a university address. With UK universities struggling to deal with the rising demand for mental health facilities across the country, and the continual squeeze upon student finances, we hope that gamban® will provide thousands of students the support they need.