I’m Jack Symons, founder of gamban®.
As a student (and former sabbatical officer) at the University of Surrey, I became increasingly addicted to online poker.
It was my first time away from home and I had access to more money than I had ever had before. There was no support available, despite the fact gambling was advertised on campus and me and my peers were amongst the most heavily advertised target market for the rapacious gambling industry. I suffered from depression and came close on several occasions to dropping out of my course.
For Matt Zarb-Cousin, gambling addiction brought him close to suicide as a student at Birmingham University.
In short, our universities failed us, in loco parentis.
Matt and I are far from isolated cases – in a recent Gambling Commission / YouthSight survey, results suggested that three out of five students had gambled in the four weeks before they responded.
The Gambling Commission is calling for more advice and guidance to help prevent students from becoming hooked. It wants universities to provide the same level of information and support about the risks from gambling as they do for drugs, alcohol and safe sex.
It is estimated that over 2% of your students are at-risk of gambling-related harm and we are desperate to PREVENT the issue and help others avoid the dangers of gambling addiction.
So we have opened up our software to ALL UK students.
Anyone with a verified “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address can have protection on up to 3 devices for the duration of their course (3 years) and licences can be obtained here: https://gamban.com/sales/students
We decided this would be a good idea because, unfortunately, there is still a stigma around gambling addiction and by structuring the access to our software in this way, individuals do not have to talk if they do not wish to. We do not want people to suffer in silence – gambling has come to be known as the ‘hidden’ addiction.
We need your help:
- Please inform students of the availability of this software – it could save lives.
- Reduce the stigma by raising gambling addiction on the same platform as alcohol and drug addiction.
- Pass the message on to student newspapers, radio, tv – anywhere students can find out more.
- Request flyers from gamban® and we will send information for circulation.
- Invite us to speak about gambling addiction – we are happy to talk.
- Contribute ideas to how we can better protect students from gambling-related harm.
Jack Symons, founder/CEO | gamban®.