YGAM, the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust, has stepped up to the plate and demanded that the government embed education and safe gambling protocols at the heart of impending betting reform.
The trust has made its submission in tandem with GamCare, the charity that runs the National Gambling Helpline.
As the primary, consultative, stage of the Official Review of the 2005 Gambling Act closes, the two safer gambling organisations have lobbied the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS), who oversee the betting industry, and emphasised that education is the key to a brighter future.
Gambling addiction should be treated on the same level as alcohol and drug dependency, the charities stressed in their submissions to the DCMS.
YGAM called for increased funding for research, education and treatment.
“We believe keeping our young people safe should be the key focus of any outcomes from this review. Prevention is a better solution than treatment and we want Government to recognise that education has a vital role to play,” YGAM said in a statement.
“The Gambling Act Review presents a much needed opportunity for the regulation to catch up. But it is also an opportunity to demonstrate the progress being made to educate and safeguard future generations.”
GamCare, and its parent GambleAware, have provided the DCMS with hard date research on the lived experience of the 40,000 problem gamblers who have used their services in the past year.
Two-thirds of participants believe that resources and treatment for problem gamblers are seriously underfunded and inefficient, said GamCare.
Future government funding should be “collaborative” and “inclusive”, with extra support for young adults, women, and members of so-called BAME communities, who are all under-represented in treatment services, argued the charity.
An ombudsman to deal with complaints from the public would be a huge plus for the gambling industry, the charity believes.
And they also want to see the introduction of a quality mark for licenced betting firms to signpost and build consumer confidence.