£10 million initiative launched to educate young people on risks of gambling
A £10 million independent gambling education initiative has been launched with the aim of helping a generation of young people better understand the risks associated with gambling.
The programme is part of a package of safer gambling commitments announced by the Betting and Gaming Council last year.
It will be delivered by the charities GamCare and the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), and will involve direct provision of education to 120,000 young people, in addition to the training of more than 100,000 professionals who deliver education to young people.
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.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher 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."
Dugher added: "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 and YGAM have set a target 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
They also aim to provide parents, families and professionals working with young people with access to information about gambling, while young people aged 18 and younger who are at risk of developing or have developed a problem with gambling should have access to age-appropriate treatment
Gamcare chief executive Anna Hemmings 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."
YGAM was set up in 2014 to educate young people about the issues surrounding gambling and gaming.
The charity's founder and chief executive Lee Willows 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."
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