SBC News Bacta praises 'powerful agency’ Ygam for safer gambling efforts
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Bacta praises ‘powerful agency’ Ygam for safer gambling efforts

Bacta President John Bollom has expressed the trade association’s admiration and congratulations to Ygam.

The safer gambling charity was founded by Lee Willows and uses education as a tool to raise awareness and help safeguard against gaming and gambling harms. The news comes as the charity celebrates its 10th year.

Bolllom noted Ygam was established by Lee Willows, with Anne and Keith Evans joining the organisation in 2016 after their son Alan Lockhart tragically took his own life following years of struggling with gambling addiction.

Bollom then highlighted how Ygam has made a key contribution to the safer gambling debate delivering numerous projects, many of which have been supported by Bacta members.

He described how Ygam quickly became a ‘powerful agency’ for change working in partnership with a broad church of stakeholders including Bacta and many of our members. The news comes as Bacta marks a milestone 50th anniversary in 2024.

“As Chief Executive of YGAM Lee was instrumental in engaging with the industry and demonstrating how it was possible to work in partnership without fear of compromising on core principles,” the President continued.

“YGAM’s success can be measured both culturally and in terms of what it has delivered. 

“Since 2014 its portfolio of evidence-based programmes has reached over 3 million children and young people. In addition 17,000 delegates have been trained by Ygam including more than 11,000 teachers. 

“It’s this contribution which has earned it the respect and admiration of stakeholders including Parliamentarians, academics and the low stake land-based gambling entertainment sector represented by Bacta.”

Through the lens of his personal experiences of gambling addiction, Lee Willows recently discussed consumer protection, player integrity and safeguarding.

At a session in the Esports Betting Conference during ICE London 2024, Willows expressed how he used this knowledge of gambling harms to do greater good, establishing one of the major charities in the space.

“But I thought to myself, I’ve got one more job left,” he continued. “I’m a bit of an entrepreneur, so I’ll take the experience that I’ve got and see if I can apply it through the lens of gaming and esports.”

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