Gambling with Lives has launched what it bills as a “pioneering gambling education programme,” which is to place a focus upon raising youth awareness of gambling harms, addiction and disorders.
GwL says that the programme, which has been developed by experts on gambling harm, academics, teachers, filmmakers, and those with lived experience of gambling harm, aims to influence the way awareness education is delivered to young people and address “the lack of information and help currently available”.
The gambling education programme will be piloted in schools in Essex, Manchester and Northern Ireland, before being rolled-out across the country.
GwL outlined that its educational programme would take an honest approach as to how it informs young audiences on their gambling choices, as well as the real-life consequences of gambling harms and addiction.
The group adds that its approach is based on research surrounding educating youth about the dangers of addictive products, such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
“What makes this programme unique is that it includes the role of addictive products and predatory marketing in causing harm,” James Grimes, head of education at Gambling with Lives, said of the launch.
“We can protect the young by giving them information that is unbiased and evidence based – raising awareness of how addiction occurs is better than just waiting for it to develop. But education is not enough – we need real change to regulation and enforcement to protect the public.”
The charity backed its tougher approach as a necessary means to reduce the 250-to-650 gambling-related suicides recorded each year in the UK – where evidence suggests that 1.2 million adults and 55,000 children have suffered from gambling addiction.
This summer, GwL participated in the ‘Park the Bus’ tour by the Coalition Against Gambling Ads – which petitioned for football clubs, management and political leaders to back a blanket ban on gambling advertising and sponsorships as a guaranteed outcome of the review of the 2005 Gambling Act.