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Gambling Risk to Chinese students in the UK

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Dr Edward KWAN

Time flies. I was one of the guest speakers of the captioned sharing held at the China Exchange Chinatown London last August. SCMP journalist Mdm Hilary Clarke was there covering the talk. We later had a discussion over Chinese dim sum on issues related to the risk of gambling addiction that overseas Chinese students face when they landed in the UK for studies. Clarke later published an article on 2019-08-19 to raise attention to this concern. (Click HERE)

Later on 2019-12-09, I shared the same concern in my 微博 Weibo and had about 2000 readers on the article (translated to English below):

"Chinese families are getting richer, and the number of students studying in the UK is increasing every year. In September 2019, there were about Chinese 120,000 international students studying in the UK. Parents have to know that their children studying in the UK are facing the risk of gambling addiction. Therefore, parents should pay attention to their financial situation and tell them that gambling could be addictive.

Ladbrokes gambling group is the largest gambling company in the UK, with more than 4,000 betting shops in the UK (still increasing). Therefore, it should be easy for a lone student to find a local Ladbrokes gambling store near his/her school."

2019 UK - Gambling Commission of the UK found that more than 50K of children have gambling problems. Following the death of Jack Ritchie, the UK's first gambling clinic for children and young adults is open in 2019. Apparently, the Labour Party UK has put in some efforts to raise awareness as well as action to deal with this UK's 'hidden epidemic' that has been long neglected by neoliberalists in power. The author hopes that the opening of the clinic could be a positive factor against gambling risk for the 120,000 Chinese students studying in the UK. As a matter of consumer/youth protection, though Chinese students are not locals, being consumers of UK education services they should be protected and treated like local British youth as they are thousands mile away from home in the mainland.

Chinese parents should be aware that their proud investment in sending children away for overseas study is subject to risk of substantial 'loss' because our world is already globally gambalized. Parental naivety could mean 'casualty' to everyone in the family.

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