Students are being offered free cash and drinks to join betting apps, it has been reported.
An investigation by The Observer found that students at a number of universities are being recruited to promote betting apps on campuses.
In some cases, it said, they are giving out free cash and pints to persuade others to sign up.
Marketing agencies that claim to represent betting companies are headhunting students to recruit users, the Observer said.
At the University of Manchester, students were urged to take “free bets” on gambling apps Kwiff and BetBull by people handing out free £5 notes around campus.
The makers of the apps have denied any involvement or knowledge of the schemes.
One undergraduate, who didn’t want to be named, told the Observer she was bought a free drink by someone trying to encourage her to sign up to a betting app.
“They were [giving out £5 notes] for your first bet and a drink to sign up,” she said. “It was such a good offer I couldn’t say no.”
The National Union of Students condemned the practice.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, co-founder of Gamban software, which blocks access to gambling sites and apps, told the Observer: “This is pretty unscrupulous behaviour from operators, given the younger you start gambling, the more likely you are to get addicted.
“Students are particularly vulnerable. It is the first time they have access to credit, overdrafts and loans – and plenty of time on their hands.”
Quiff and BetBull both said the practice had been carried out without their knowledge or permission.