£10m national gambling education programme launched in the UK

15th May 2020 6:10 am GMT

The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council has launched a £10m education programme to help young people better understand the risks associated with gambling.

The independent programme will be delivered by charities GamCare and YGAM and aims to ensure that 11-19 year olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have access to gambling awareness education.

The programme delivers on one of the safer gambling commitments announced in November 2019 and will provide training to more than 100,000 professionals, including teachers, youth workers, community mental health practitioners and police, alongside the direct provision of education to 120,000 young people.

Anna Hemmings, chief executive 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.”

The education programme will be supported by a range of materials developed in accordance with PSHE Association, City and Guilds and Pearson quality standards and will include video and digital content to ensure that the programme can be delivered throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

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.

“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,” said YGAM chief executive Lee Willows.

“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.”

The Betting and Gaming Council is providing funds to the Charities Aid Foundation for disbursement and the programme will be overseen by an independent evaluator who will report regularly on progress against key target objectives.

Commenting on the initiative, Betting and Gaming Council chief executive Michael Dugher 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.”

GamCare operates the National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk.

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