A £10m gambling education and support programme is to launch in the UK, aiming to equip the younger generation with an enhanced understanding of the risks associated with gambling as well as deliver engagement with products and environments in an informed way.
The programme will see Betting and Gaming Council members provide independent funding as well as form part of a package of BGC Safer Gambling Commitments announced in November 2019, and will be delivered by charities GamCare and YGAM.
The initiative aims to directly provision education to 120,000 young people, in addition to the training of over 100,000 professionals to deliver such tutelage, including teachers, youth workers, community mental health practitioners, police and community sports trusts.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, explained: “As the new standards body representing most of the regulated industry, the BGC is delighted to be supporting this fantastic initiative. Educating our young people is vital if we are to ensure that they are better informed and fully aware of the potential risks.
“It’s also essential that those who are teaching them are fully trained and able to look out for the tell-tale signs of any gambling-related harm and how to access help if required. Millions of people occasionally enjoy gambling, whether that’s on the National Lottery or on sports or bingo or gaming.
“The overwhelming majority of people who gamble in the UK do so in a safe way. This important project and investment is part of our ongoing determination at the BGC to promote safer gambling and to further drive up standards.”
As part of the roll-out GamCare and YGAM have collaborated to stipulate a series of shared aspirations regarding gambling education in the UK:
- All 11-19 year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive at least one session of gambling awareness education during their secondary/further education.
- All teachers, youth workers and other professionals working with young people should have access to information about the risks of gambling, how to identify gambling related harm in young people and where help can be sought.
- All parents and families should have access to information about young people’s gambling, how to keep young people safe, and where they can be referred for help and support.
- All young people (aged 18 and under) who are ‘at risk’ of or have developed a problem with gambling, or are affected by the gambling of someone close to them (e.g. a parent), should have access to age-appropriate treatment.
Lee Willows, founder and CEO of YGAM, commented: “Building upon our five-year track record of training professionals who have influence over young people’s learning, we are delighted to be working with GamCare, the Betting and Gaming Council and their members and our various external evaluation partners to scale our geographical reach to deliver this ambitious programme.
“Raising awareness and harm-prevention education is an important component to reduce gambling-related harms. By training professionals who have influence over young people’s learning, we will equip these professionals with the skills, knowledge and confidence to not only deliver the programme but also highlight the age-appropriate support available from GamCare.”