Gambling and gaming support


There are many forms of gambling, you may not even realise that some activities are gambling. For most gambling activities, the legal age in the United Kingdom, is 18.

Examples of different types of gambling activity:

  • Arcades
  • Sports betting
  • Bingo
  • Casinos
  • Lotteries
  • Private bets
  • Gaming machines
  • Esports betting

 Most of these activities are also available online via a phone, tablet or computer.

Spotting the signs of gambling harm

There are many signs that could indicate that someone is struggling with gambling, you may notice changes in yourself or a friend or family member.

Some examples of signs of gambling related harm:

  • Preoccupation with gambling
  • Missing lectures/ missing course work deadline
  • Withdrawal from social/friendship
  • Secrecy
  • Changes in mood/behaviour
  • Gambling until you have nothing left
  • Chasing losses
  • Borrowing money
  • Unexplained debt/ new or extra money/possessions
  • Feeling anxious and worried


Gaming can be fun, sociable and a good way to relax and unwind. It’s accessible on mobile, pc and consoles and is increasingly popular for people of all ages.

Many games have begun to implement paid add-ons, from downloadable content (DLC) to Loot boxes, many of which require luck, and have odds comparable to those of gambling. This can increase financial risk and Loot boxes have been compared to gambling, with many spending more than they can afford.

Spotting the signs of gaming related harm

Signs of gaming harm may include:

  • Constantly thinking about or wanting to play the game
  • Feeling irritable and restless (fidgety) when not playing
  • Underreporting or lying about how much time you’ve spent playing or playing in secret (such as in the middle of the night)
  • Tiredness, headaches or hand pain from too much screen time and use of controllers
  • Not wanting to pay attention to things like your personal hygiene (e.g., washing) or eating
  • Not seeing friends as often or doing other things you used to enjoy doing as all your time is spent gaming
  • Not wanting to go to university/lectures or work so that you can game

Where to find help

YGAM student hub is full of information specifically made by students for students about gaming and gambling, as well as lots of links to the support that’s available to you if you’re worried about your own, or someone else’s gambling.

GamCare provide information, advice and support to anyone affected by gambling harms. They also operate the National Gambling Helpline and provide treatment to anyone affected by gambling. If you're worried about your own or someone else's gambling, you can speak with Adviser one-to-one over the phone or on live chat 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

BeGambleAware has lots of information and advice about gambling as well as signposting to support organisations.

Gamblers Anonymous support groups across the UK enable people who are struggling with gambling to meet regularly while competing a program to overcome their gambling

Central and North West London and NHS Northern Gambling Service offer treatment for problem gamblers living in England and Wales aged 16 and over. The team assess the needs of problem gamblers as well as those of their partners and family members.

Free self-exclusion and blocking tools

Using self-exclusion and blocking tools is a good way to put barriers between you and your gambling and help regain control.

GAMSTOP is a free tool that allows you to self-exclude from all GB licensed gambling sites and apps for a period of your choosing (6 months, 1 year or 5 years).

SENSE is a self-exclude tool for land-based casinos.

BACTA is a self-exclusion tool for Motorway service areas, family entertainment centres, arcades and adult gambling centres.

MOSES is a self-exclusion tool for betting shops.

Bingo Association is a self-exclusion tool for bingo premises.

Blocking software blocks your access to gambling websites and apps worldwide. Gamban is currently being offered for free through TalkBanStop.

Bank Blocks: Many banks offer the option to block gambling transactions. Here is a complete list of banks that offer this service.

Ad Blocks: You can install an adblocker on your device to reduce the amount of gambling advertising that you see online. Find out more about installing adblockers.

Social Media: most social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram also offer the option to block gambling ads from appearing on your feed, find out more about how to block advertising on social media.

University Support

Funding Team

Our Financial Support Officers can provide practical advice for any money related issues. You can book a face-to-face appointment to discuss any financial difficulties.

If you find yourself struggling financially or in need of some extra help to control your spending habits, complete our funding enquiry form or contact the Student Services Hub.

Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service

Everyone has mental health – sometimes good, sometimes not so good. If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings there is help available at the University.