We are pleased to see that the long-awaited gambling white paper has now been published. The measures the Government are proposing are an important recognition of the changes needed to make sure that legislation around gambling is both fit for the digital age and protects children and young people.
Anna Hemmings CEO, when offering GamCare’s initial reflections, said: “At GamCare, our priority is making sure that people who need help receive it as quickly as possible. We therefore welcome the clarity the Government has provided on how research, education and treatment will be funded.”
This is the most comprehensive reform of the gambling landscape in nearly two decades and with a significant section of the paper dedicated to children and young people, we have an important opportunity to better support them, by working together, exploring best practice on education and collaboration and breaking down barriers to raise the profile of this ‘hidden harm’.
We were heartened that the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer MP has made it clear that she is ‘particularly conscious of the vulnerability of young people’. The review highlights the government’s intention to regulate age limits and introduce more rigorous verification checks; young people’s digital access to gambling activity; online gaming activity; industry advertising and harsher penalties for operators who do not comply.
However, the most interesting area for the English Gambling Education Hub (EGEH) is the emphasis the paper puts on targeted education and awareness raising campaigns, to work with parents, carers and professionals working with young people; thereby promoting resilience and reducing the risks of harm in young people.
GamCare, Ygam and other partner organisations leading the EGEH, are well-placed to feed into the white paper consultation process over the coming months, and we will now take time to carefully review all the proposals in details and respond to ensure the reforms are effective in helping to safeguard children and young people. As we do, we will put lived experience at the heart of our approach.
The full white paper can be viewed online here if you wish to read more.