Following in the footsteps of a multitude of key partnerships being rolled-out, and ahead of the impending government review of the 2005 Gambling Act, Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust is the latest entrant in our Safer Gambling Week series.

Participation comes in the immediate aftermath of a Football Index donation that was rolled-out last week, which saw YGAM gain front on shirt placement on both Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest strips.

As a result, QPR wore special edition shirts for their London derby against Watford on Saturday 21 November, with Nottingham Forest sporting the attire when they take on Bournemouth on tomorrow (Tuesday 24 November).

This followed the group outlining its support of South Yorkshire Safeguarding Awareness Week 2020, as well as securing significant partnerships with the Metropolitan Police Service and national sports charity StreetGames and Yorkshire Sport Foundation, among others.

Following such a flurry of activity Daniel Bliss, the director of external affairs at YGAM, spoke to CasinoBeats about the significance of these deals moving forward, and how the charity will build upon this momentum moving into 2021: “We are a small organisation with very ambitious plans so our partnerships and collaborations help us reach thousands of young people across all regions. 

“The profile and calibre of organisations who are enthusiastic to work with us really highlights the quality of our programmes and the importance of our social purpose. For example, we’re working UNISON to train professionals, the National Union of Students (NUS) to support students, and football clubs to reach communities. 

“Progress has been made in recent years but I think we all agree than more needs to be done”

“As our work continues to get positive recognition, we will continue to engage with organisations from all sectors to ensure our work has a positive influence on young people’s lives. A collaborative approach is the most effective way to reduce gambling-related harm.”

Much has been said and written regarding the upcoming review of the Gambling Act, with this SGW series documenting the expectations of many stakeholders.

Moving on, Bliss documented YGAM’s role amid much appetite for sweeping reform within the UK: “The government review will be a momentous period for the everyone connected to the gambling industry. I believe views from all perspectives should be welcomed and respected throughout the process. 

“YGAM is not a campaigning organisation, however we will work closely with stakeholders and the government to offer our insight to ensure any changes are focused on keeping future generations safe. Progress has been made in recent years but I think we all agree that more needs to be done to protect consumers in a fast-paced digital world.”

As previously alluded to, Bliss’ comments come amid SGW20, an annual campaign which began in 2017 with an aim of uniting all sectors of the gambling industry.

This year’s campaign commenced on November 19 and will end this week on Wednesday 25, with it said that over 100,000 staff at more than 9,000 gambling venues and online sites will have participated at the culmination.

“It is important all stakeholders work together”

With this in mind, the importance of working together was emphasised, as the integral role in ongoing collaborations was asserted: “It is important all stakeholders work together to support initiatives that raise awareness of the potential risks associated with gambling. Keeping consumers safe, especially during these unprecedented times, should rightly be a priority for the gambling industry, government and the regulator,” he added.

“During this year’s events we are recognising some of partnerships and initiatives which help us increase our growth, reach and impact. As a harm prevention charity, we are committed to collaborating with anyone who shares our vision.” 

‘Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling’ has remained as the strapline for Safer Gambling Week 2020 with the message lauded by supporters as research suggests that it ‘strikes the right chord with the wide and diverse range of audiences’.

Bliss concluded by stressing the importance of education when it comes to preventing gambling related harms, as he touched upon what message/s he hopes that stakeholders and the general public take away from the week: “It crucial that we bring peoples’ attention to the advice and support available. The vast majority of people can enjoy gambling safely however we must provide support those who experience harms. 

“There are some fantastic support networks and resources available, some created by people with lived experience, to better understand the risks of gambling-related harms and the wider impact it can have on peoples’ lives.  

“Education is an essential component in preventing gambling-related harms. I’m extremely proud to be part of a talented team made up of mainly teachers, parents and individuals with lived experience. We’re delivering the national ‘Young Peoples Gambling Harm Prevention Programme’ in partnership with GamCare to safeguard future generations.”