The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust‘s Parliamentary Recital last week declared that “the future for many young persons is uncertain”. This was as the organization set out plans to protect them from gambling and gaming harm in the UK moving forward.
Dr Jane Rigbye Group CEO, stressed the importance to protect young people from irresponsible gaming. Young people are already suffering from a variety of disadvantages including the effects of the pandemic and rising living costs.
She gave a speech at the reception, saying: “Recent year have brought significant challenges to family still feeling the ripple effects from the pandemic. The disruptions to young people’s education and social development have had a significant impact on their mental and physical health.
“The increased cost of living is affecting families more than ever, with the most severe impact on those who are most affected by inequalities in society. It is therefore more important than ever to prevent future harm.
On January 17, Rigbye launched the charity’s new strategy, titled ‘Safeguarding our Digital Generation‘. Rigbye stated that the charity will recognize the similarities between gambling and gaming to better protect this generation.
Rigbye stated, “We live in a rapidly evolving digital world.” Both issues are interconnected and evidence shows that we can prevent children from harming themselves with these products by discussing their similarities and acknowledging their differences. We also need to equip people who have influence over young people with the skills and information to have productive prevention conversations about both of them.
Rigbye also continued to discuss the revised strategy of YGAM, stating that the organization aims to deliver “robust evidence-based services designed for equipping people with the knowledge to implement effective prevention intervention through their work or their discussions with young people.”
In his speech, the CEO also addressed YGA’s past operations. He stated that YGAM had reported on outputs for too long and failed to understand the changes that result from our work.
Rigbye stated that the firm will publish its 2022 impact report by the end of the month despite this statement. However, Rigbye said that the document will still have an “output-heavy” slant. The CEO of the charity suggested that future reports would “be reporting more on the changes we’ve made.”
The speech recognized the insecurity surrounding the Gambling Act whitepaper review. Rigbye stated that YGAM will work within the framework that the government has established for funding gambling harm prevention and that it would ensure that prevention and education are an integral part of the public’s health response.
Because of the nature of charity and similar organizations, player safety is considered to be the most important when the government revises its gambling laws. However, a number sources warn that tighter regulation could lead to players engaging in potentially dangerous illegal services.
The Betting and Gaming Council warned legislators recently that they could drive customers to unregulated operators using measures like blanket affordability checks.
A study by EY found that 70% of bettors wouldn’t allow regulated operators conduct checks to verify their ability to afford to bet.
Shadow Education Minister Jeff Smith also echoed Rigbye’s sentiment at last week’s Parliamentary Reception. Manchester Labour MP Foreman Withington said that any funding model changes should not be focused on “treatment only”, and that lawmakers must also address “preventing harm as well as treating it”.