The launch of a £10 million independent gambling education initiative intended to equip a generation of young people to better understand the risks associated with gambling and engage with gambling products and environments in an informed way, has been announced.
The programme, which is part of a package of BGC Safer Gambling Commitments announced in November 2019, will be delivered by the charities GamCare and YGAM. It will involve direct provision of education to 120,000 young people, in addition to the training of over 100,000 professionals who deliver education to young people including teachers, youth workers, community mental health practitioners, police and community sports trusts.
GamCare and YGAM have set out the following shared aspirations for gambling education in the UK:
The evidence-led, evaluated, and accredited education programmes extend beyond the individuals they reach directly by equipping people with the skills and confidence to talk to others about gambling harms and identify harmful behaviour in those close to them.
Commenting on the launch, Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, said:
“GamCare have 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:
“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 & 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.”
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said:
“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.”
The education programme will be supported by a range of high-quality materials developed in accordance with PSHE Association, City and Guilds and Pearson quality standards. To ensure the programme is delivered throughout the COVID19 lockdown, resources will be further enriched by quality video and digital content reflective of the spaces in which young people consume information. Those identified through the programme as being impacted by gambling-related harm will be able to receive seamless access to help and support from GamCare staff and via its Youth facing website– BigDeal.
The Betting and Gaming Council is providing funds to the Charities Aid Foundation, which will disperse the funds in accordance with the grants from YGAM and GAMCARE. The programme will be overseen by an independent evaluator who will report regularly on progress against key target objectives.