YGAM: Education is a key driver of trust between regulators and consumers

Using effective education initiatives to raise awareness of the risks of problem gambling is a key driver in building trust between gambling regulators and consumers, explained Daniel Bliss, Head of External Affairs at Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM).

Approaching the SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital next week, the year’s biggest digital event in the calendar, Bliss spoke to SBC about how the charity will showcase its ‘Safer Gambling Training’ for operators, in collaboration with Betknowmore and the Responsible Gambling Council while also highlighting its vision for training staff in the gambling sector.

Despite the challenges the industry faced due to the current pandemic, Bliss told SBC that the charity has had a ‘momentous year’ which saw its growth and impact continue to increase.

What are you looking forward to at the SBC Digital Summit Barcelona?

We are delighted to be a principal charity partner to this event and look forward to networking with the wide range of stakeholders involved. It is fantastic to see so many people coming together virtually in this way despite the current circumstances.  

We are excited to launch our ‘Safer Gambling Training’ for operators with Betknowmore at the conference so please do come and visit our stand to find out more. I’m also looking forward to hearing from some industry leaders about the work they are doing particularly in areas of consumer protection. The line-up of speakers is superb, and it is all set to be a hugely productive few days. 

What would be your biggest bit of advice for organisations trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

All organisations, including charities, have been agile in these unprecedented circumstances. At YGAM, we have risen to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by accelerating the digital transformation of our education resources and using virtual classrooms to raise awareness of gambling-related harms.

What are you promoting at SBC Digital Summit Barcelona?

YGAM has teamed up with the charity Betknowmore and the Responsible Gambling Council to develop world-class online Safer Gambling Training for operators to strengthen player protection standards and effectively safeguard consumers from harm. 

A purposeful collaboration combining specialist knowledge, lived experience insight and research to create the most advanced comprehensive training programmes so far. The six online training modules are creatively interactive and relevant to the latest LCCP requirements. 

What’s your vision for training staff in the gambling sector? 

A lot of hard work has been done to raise awareness of gambling-related harms over the past few years. The vast majority of people will always enjoy gambling safely however it is imperative to safeguard the minority from the potential risks. 

Through this training, the customer facing teams can develop their understanding of gambling-related harm through the lens of lived-experience. I like the idea of introducing an International Standard of training that colleagues within the gambling sector can take with them throughout their career, including obligatory updates and refresher courses. 

I think it would build trust with regulators and consumers. We want the customer care teams within the gambling industry to be recognised as the best worldwide. 

What has been YGAM’s biggest achievement over the last 12 months?

It has been a momentous year for the charity as our growth and impact continued to increase despite the challenges of COVID-19. We are collaboratively delivering the UKs National Education Programme supported by £10 million of funding from members of the Betting and Gaming Council. 

It is a ground-breaking prevention programme that will help millions of people. We recently announced a major partnership with the UKs largest trade union UNISON and launched a new leading-edge Parent Hub website (www.parents.ygam.org) to provide bespoke resources to support families with guidance on gaming and gambling. 

The website has been endorsed by the Royal Society of Public Health, academics, teachers and parents. So a successful year of huge progress and next year is set to be even better!

What plans do you have for the next 12 months?

For a small charity we have big plans. We will soon be launching a pioneering new programme on Mindful Resilience with some key partners. This will see us develop, deliver and evaluate expert training on gambling, gaming and digital behavioural addictions to healthcare professionals. 

We have appointed a highly qualified clinician to lead this programme which will be initially starting in London. We are also working hard on special projects to support groups such students, teachers, parents and ethnic minorities. 

As we enter a hugely significant period for the UK gambling industry, YGAM will continue to passionately lead the way to prevent gambling-related harm. Follow our social media channels to keep up to date with all our work – @YGAMuk or get in touch me directly on [email protected] 

Further details, including the agenda, full line-up of 200 speakers and list of the 100 virtual exhibitors, are available from the official SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital website

To join the 10,000 delegates from around the world, click here to register for free.


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