THE Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) believes the third sector has a key role to play in the Government’s ongoing review of the Gambling Act.
The world has changed since the Gambling Act was passed in 2005, and new technology has facilitated the rapid growth of online gambling in the UK. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is leading the process to implement legislative changes to ensure the regulatory framework is fit for the digital age.
YGAM is one of the country’s leading gambling education charities, delivering a portfolio of harm prevention programmes aimed at safeguarding young people. The charity works with teachers, youth workers, universities, parents, and health professionals to provide free training to equip them with the resources and skills necessary to help raise awareness and prevent gambling harms.
In their written evidence submitted to the review, YGAM has called for the Government to support the progress that has been made by organisations working in the third sector to help reduce gambling harm. The charity believes more long-term funding should be directed into the third sector, which supports research, education and treatment.
Daniel Bliss, Director of External Affairs at YGAM, said:
“As with any government review, there will always be a huge amount of lobbying and debating going on over the next few months. However, I think it is important for the Government to embrace the valuable contribution that charities can make during the process. Some inspirational organisations can help inform any outcomes of the review by offering their experience, expertise, and important insights on a wide range of issues.
“As a charity sector and community working to reduce gambling harms, we have an abundance of passion, talent, and innovative thinking. Our network is a diverse mix of experienced professionals, educators, clinicians, researchers, specialists and, importantly, individuals who provide a unique insight from their lived experience of gambling-related harms. By welcoming more ideas into the discussion, we will ensure that decisions are better informed. I encourage the Minister and the DCMS team to meet with as many charities as possible, as they all have so much to offer to the review.”
The third sector connected to the UK gambling industry is made up of a wide variety of small and medium registered charities, not-for-profit organisations and Community Interest Companies (CICs). Many of them, including YGAM, have been established by individuals who have personally been impacted by gambling addiction.
“I believe a collaborative approach is the most effective way to achieve our shared objective to reduce and prevent gambling harms. This is a momentous phase for everyone connected to the sector, so I hope the process of the next few months is inclusive and engages with views from a range of perspectives. Let’s support, share understanding and work together.”
YGAM has published their written evidence on their website and calls for the gambling industry to do ‘much more to protect consumers’. It also makes it clear that ‘regulation must be improved to keep up-to-date with the fast-paced innovation of the digital world.’ The charity states that education alone will not prevent gambling harms and therefore says it ‘strongly supports the introduction of any further protections for young people.’
The call for evidence for the Gambling Act Review closed on March 31st, and the Government will now be engaging with stakeholders to discuss the range of evidence submitted. A White Paper is expected at the end of the year.