University students a safe bet as Ladbrokes launches scheme to put money on degree results


One Roehampton University student thought it was worth a flutter.


By Immi Calderwood, Tabi Jackson Gee, Matthew Greening and Sarah Ward.

Betting on degree results could become a rite of passage for South West London’s university students, thanks to a new Ladbrokes scheme.

The bookmakers announced the initiative as Freshers’ Week begins across the country, and students and parents will be looking for new ways to reduce the impact of £9000 tuition fees.

The scheme is designed to formalise frequent requests from parents and students every year, seeking to place a bet on degree results.

Alex Donohue, spokesman for Ladbrokes, denied that the scheme is a reaction to rising tuition fees, claiming that it has nothing to do with the world of education.

“We’re not encouraging hundreds of thousands of students to start betting,” said Mr Donohue.

“There’s no more pressure on students. It’s just a bit of fun.”

Ladbrokes are trialling the initiative, which covers 20 universities across the UK, for two months.

Odds will be based on the university the student attends, the course they study and their A-level results.

Although they have had no communication with the institutions involved since beginning the scheme, Mr Donohue said there has been positive feedback from student publications.

Roehampton student, Nick Matthews, 20, said, “From the sound of it the incentive to do well is there.”

“I’m not much of a gambling person, but I might put £10 on it.”

With 60,000 children aged between 11 and 15 struggling with gambling problems in the UK, according to a survey by GambleAware, concerns have been raised about the scheme.

“On our helpline we often receive calls from students who through a combination of new found independence and increased access to funds, have gotten themselves into a great deal of financial trouble because they are not prepare for the risks of gambling,” said a spokesperson for GamCare, which helps gambling addicts.

“This example of gambling so specifically tied to student life is concerning to us.”

To contact GamCare’s helpline, call 0808 8020 133.

Photo courtesy of James Almond, with thanks.

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