BGC commits £10 million to gambling education and support initiative

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has launched a new £10 million programme that will focus on gambling education and support in the UK. 

It’s aimed that the BGC’s funding will make sure that all individuals between the ages of 11 and 19 in the country gain access to gambling awareness education. 

The initiative will be delivered by GamCare and the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), two UK-based charities.

BGC members will also contribute to the cause through their own independent funding. 

Aims 

In its official press release, the BGC has outlined its ambitions for this new programme. These are as follows. 

  • All 11-19-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive at least one session of gambling awareness education during their secondary/further education. 
  • All teachers, youth workers and other professionals working with young people should have access to information about the risks of gambling, how to identify gambling-related harm in young people and where help can be sought.
  • All parents and families should have access to information about young people’s gambling, how to keep young people safe, and where they can be referred for help and support.
  • All young people (aged 18 and under) who are ‘at risk’ of or have developed a problem with gambling, or are affected by the gambling of someone close to them (e.g. a parent), should have access to age-appropriate treatment.

The programme will form part of the BGC’s ‘Safer Gambling Commitments’, announced in November 2019. In this, it outlined educational support as one of its key goals. 

This latest council initiative is expected to “involve direct provision of education to 120,000 young people”. 

It’s also planned that this initiative will train “over 100,000 professionals who deliver education to young people including teachers, youth workers, community mental health practitioners, police and community sports trusts”. 

“Educating our young people is vital”

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher spoke about the need to further promote responsible gambling, especially amongst the younger generations. 

He said the below. 

“Educating our young people is vital if we are to ensure that they are better-informed and 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 telltale 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.”

Getting started now 

While the UK is currently locked down due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the BGC expects to begin delivering its initiatives in unique ways. It said that “resources will be further enriched by quality video and digital content reflective of the spaces in which young people consume information”. 

People that the programme identifies to be impacted by gambling-related issues will be given access to both GamCare and BigDeal, which is the charity’s youth-focused website. 

After the BGC has provided the funds to the Charities Aid Foundation, these will be distributed “in accordance with the grants from YGAM and GamCare”. As for the programme itself, an independent evaluator will provide regular reports on performance against key objectives.

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