The Students’ Union of the University of Dundee have decided to remove all gambling machines from the campus. This decision has been taken with student wellbeing in mind. Previously, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals were in place at the University, though some had criticised their appearance – suggesting the Union were endorsing the activity of gambling by students. The decision to remove the terminals were taken following a vote by the Union’s Student Representative Council. Read on for more.
As mentioned above, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals were placed in the Union. These devices allow students to gamble, typically on virtual roulette wheels or other chance-based games. The Union revealed they had been approached by some students – who having conducted their own research – suggested the devices were proving negative towards the financial and personal welfare of those using them. The terminals in question have been criticised for their highly-addictive nature.
The vote taken resulted in the four terminals being removed by the Union. The terminals had previously allowed students to spend up to £100 per spin. As mentioned, these devices are highly addictive, and therefore this seems to be a wise move. Regulator the Gambling Commission has recently made plans to introduce a ‘maximum stake’ on these sorts of terminals of around £30 – such is the concern in their use. Their appearance on campuses around the United Kingdom is of concern to anti-gambling campaigners.
Responding to the decision – Caroline Goodliffe, the vice-President of Student Welfare at the Students’ Union, said: “Listening to concerns raised by students, a motion was brought forward to our Student Representative Council (SRC) who voted to remove the terminals. To ensure that the Union continues to provide a safe environment for all of our members these machines have been removed, and will not be returning.” She went on to say that the ‘high-pressure environment’ of study can lead to addictions forming. She also implored students struggling with addiction to seek help.
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This appears to be a positive step. While gambling is an activity enjoyed by millions, it can be highly addictive. While students are struggling for funds, these sort of machines can be seen as an easy way of earning more money. Yet while players can enjoy short-term bursts, in the long-run, very few people succeed. This is what causes the highly-addictive nature of gambling – thinking the next victory is just around the corner. This is a positive step, and should result in an increase in student wellbeing.