Despite the efforts to raise awareness of gambling harm prevention in the United Kingdom in recent years, harms related to disordered gambling still carry stigma.
These were the thoughts of Dr Jane Rigbye, YGAM’s Chief Executive, during Safer Gambling Week, as she stated that it is “clear” that as a society, people no longer hesitate to talk about the risks associated with other behaviours, such as consuming alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
“We believe this should be the same for the risks associated with gambling,” she claimed. “By increasing understanding and educating people of all ages, we can break down these barriers and ensure gambling harm receives the attention it requires.
“Safer Gambling Week repeatedly attracts a degree of debate and challenge. Whilst there will always be different perspectives, protecting people must always be the priority for all stakeholders in this sector.”
On YGAM’s thoughts on SGW, the charity stated that the aims and objectives of the campaign should be “at the heart of everything the industry does every day of every week, all year round”. She also stressed that the week-long campaign is still “vitally important” due to the awareness that is generated on a national level.
She continued: “Safer Gambling Week repeatedly attracts a degree of debate and challenge. Whilst there will always be different perspectives, protecting people must always be the priority for all stakeholders in this sector.
“The UK is fortunate to have a multitude of inspiring charities and organisations doing fantastic work to prevent and reduce gambling harms. Many of these organisations have been founded and continue to be inspired by lived experience.
“We all share a common goal, and we maximise our impact when we share best practice, experience, and insight. The passion that people hold to make a difference in this space should be celebrated.
“Collaboration forms a core part of our approach at YGAM, and we have enhanced our work by listening and learning from our colleagues from across the harm prevention sector.”
Looking ahead, Dr. Rigbye stated that YGAM is a “small piece of a much larger jigsaw” with more needing to be done to reduce gambling harms via a collaborative approach, which she asserted is the “most efficient way” to achieve this.
She concluded that, to achieve the aforementioned, commitments from the government, regulators, operators, charities, trade bodies and academics, are needed.
Signing off, she stated: “Alone we can do a little, together we can do so much.”
To read more on what Dr. Rigbye said during Safer Gambling Week, click here.