Gambling with Lives (GwL) has become the latest charity to launch an education programme focused on raising youth awareness of gambling harms, addiction and disorders.
The programme developed by academics and teachers with the oversight of lived experience of gambling harms will be piloted in schools in Essex, Manchester and Northern Ireland – prior to a full nationwide launch.
GwL outlined that its educational programme would take an honest approach as to how it informs young audiences on their gambling choices and the real-life consequences of gambling harms and addiction.
“What makes this programme unique is that it includes the role of addictive products and predatory marketing in causing harm,” said James Grimes, Head of Education at Gambling with Lives.
“We can protect the young by giving them information that is unbiased and evidence-based – raising awareness of how addiction occurs is better than just waiting for it to develop. But education is not enough – we need real change to regulation and enforcement to protect the public.”
GwL stated that its approach was based on published research on educating youth about the dangers of addictive products such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
With regards to gambling harms, GwL cited that UK schools and learning centres have been let down by a lack of information made available to the public and communities.
The charity backed its tougher approach on educating youngsters, as a necessary means to reduce “the 250-to-650 gambling-related suicides recorded each year in the UK” – where evidence cited by GwL detailed that “1.2 million adults and 55,000 children have suffered from gambling addiction”.
This summer, GwL participated in the ‘Park the Bus’ tour by the Coalition Against Gambling Ads – which petitioned for football clubs, management and political leaders to back a blanket ban on gambling advertising and sponsorships as a guaranteed outcome of the review of the 2005 Gambling Act.