The animation illustrates risks attached to online gaming and gambling apps which can have serious long-term impact if students do not take preventative measures. Dangers include impact to student wellbeing, loss of money, addiction, and scams. Students that have concerns are being encouraged to reach out to their university, college, or support organisations, for help.

This initiative is endorsed and supported by GamCare, and the animation will be displayed in universities and college campuses throughout Northern Ireland as well as across different online student portals to raise awareness of the risks and dangers of online gaming and gambling.

Claire Drummond, Head of Student Wellbeing at Ulster University, commented:

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to put a strain on student’s finances it is so important for our students to take proactive steps to maximise their available income and minimise their outgoings to prioritise essential needs such as rent, utilities, food and travel.

"Our Student Money team offers money management and budgeting workshops to educate and support students in how to draw up a budget and manage their money responsibly, but we have witnessed an increase in students gaming online and using gambling apps and sadly some have lost a lot of money, very quickly. This joint campaign with our partners Consumer Council and Danske Bank to urge students to take notice of the dangers of gambling in all its forms comes at a very important time of the academic year and we hope it will make people stop and think of the dangers before they gamble online.”

Ronan Convery, Senior Consumer Empowerment Officer at The Consumer Council, said:

“If young people choose to game and gamble online, it is important that they do it safely and do not view it as a generator of income or a way to manage their money. We are pleased to work together with Ulster University and Danske Bank to educate and empower young people on the risks of online gaming and gambling, and what they can do to keep themselves and their money safe online.

"Our research shows that 29% of 16–24-year-olds do not feel knowledgeable about savings and financial matters, showing the need for projects like this one. As our young people now spend so much time online, knowing what to look out for to protect themselves is vitally important.”

Paul O’Hara, Conduct Manager at Danske Bank, said:

“The impacts of gambling can be wide-reaching – family and friends can also be affected, and it can have an impact on your health and wellbeing. If you are worried about gambling, there is support available from multiple avenues – whether that’s your school, college or university, your bank, the Consumer Council, or a gambling charity. It’s so important to know that help is out there, don’t struggle alone. At Danske Bank, you can block gambling transactions altogether, or set a gambling spending limit on your card, and if you need to, we can also help support you with managing your finances.”

To view the gaming and gambling information, visit the animation.