The UK has launched a £10m gambling education and support programme aimed at young people.
UK.- The UK has launched a £10million education and support programme to be funded by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and delivered by the charities GamCare and YGAM.
The two charities will deliver an independent programme aimed at providing gambling awareness education to 11- to 19-year-olds in the UK.
They have said the programme will aim to help young people understand the risks associated with gambling and engage with gambling products and environments in an informed way.
The programme will provide direct provision to 120,000 young people, and also train more than 100,000 teachers, youth workers, community mental health workers, police and community sports trusts that work with young people.
The aim is for all 11-19 year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to receive at least one session of gambling awareness education during their secondary or further education programmes, and for all professionals working with young people to have access to information about the risks of gambling, how to identify gambling-related harm and where to go for help.
The programme will also aim to ensure parents and families have access to information about gambling and how to keep young people safe.
The charities said the programme would go beyond the individuals reached directly by giving people the skills and knowledge to talk to others about gambling-related harm.
The BGC will provide funding via the Charities Aid Foundation as part of its package of safer gambling commitments announced in November 2019.
Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, said: “GamCare has been working with young people and youth facing professionals to deliver gambling education for many years. What we see in the classroom tends to be polarised views on gambling, and a lack of clear understanding about its potential risks. We are delighted to be working with YGAM and extending this much-needed programme. We believe that gambling education should have parity with education around other risky behaviours and the extension of this programme will help us take a significant step towards achieving that aim.”
Lee Willows, founder and CEO of YGAM, said: “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.”
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “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.”
The charities involved said the programme would be able to commence during the Covid-19 lockdown through the use of video resources and digital content delivered via GamCare’s youth-facing website www.bigdeal.org.uk.
The UKGC last week announced guidance on tighter measures to protect problem gamblers during lockdown.