Pupils at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Salisbury, Wilts, have revealed that gambling operators have been literally bombarding them with ads.
Some of the students have been among the 650 teenagers who have taken part in trial lessons which have been especially held in order to raise the under-aged individual’s awareness of possible gambling-related harm. The trial lessons have been designed and held after the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a report suggesting that up to 25,000 of the children between 11 and 16 years can be categorised as problem gamblers, with many of them getting access to gambling through social media and computer games.
We want to hear consumers' opinion on our proposed changes aimed at further protecting children and keeping gambling fair and safe. Follow the link to our survey here: https://t.co/LicptnaFbV pic.twitter.com/dkVSPu3g5l
— Gambling Commission (@GamRegGB) October 10, 2018
According to the report which the UKGC has released, 12 years old is the average age when most of the children affected start gambling. The data gathered and analysed by the Commission showed that 80% of the children 11-16 who are considered problem gamblers have encountered gambling ads on TV. In addition, 70% of the teenagers who have taken part in the survey had seen social gambling adverts on social media.
We want to hear consumers' opinion on our proposed changes aimed at further protecting children and keeping gambling fair and safe. Follow the link to our survey here: https://t.co/LicptnaFbV pic.twitter.com/gSKFBZsA3O
— Gambling Commission (@GamRegGB) October 9, 2018
The lessons, which were designed by the Demos think-tank and came in a series of four, have been aimed at encouraging teenagers to carefully think of the risks related to gambling and to try to recognise the actual goals of gambling operators that often use manipulative behaviour to get what they want and lure under-aged individuals into gambling which could quickly turn into addiction.
Schoolchildren Say Gambling Is Easily Accessible Nowadays
For some time now, anti-gambling campaigners have been calling for stricter measures to be imposed on gambling advertising, so that children and more vulnerable people are better protected against possible gambling-related harm.
A number of students at St Joseph’s Catholic School who talked with the BBC shared that they were quite young at the time when they were first addressed by a gambling company.
One of the girls shared that there should be more information about the risks associated with gambling, as such is provided for other addictions. She further noted that contacting someone personally is more enticing, as companies make such people feel as if it is their duty to gamble.
Today we’ve brought Responsible Gambling Managers from across the industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities that operators face when using data to identify and work with problem gamblers pic.twitter.com/caIxS3NKRf
— Gambling Commission (@GamRegGB) October 5, 2018
Some of the teenagers who took part in the series of lessons aimed at enhancing awareness about gambling-related harm highlighted the fact that gambling is becoming more popular and more-accessible by the hour, especially thanks to computers and mobile applications, but the Government needs to make sure people are well-informed about the devastating effect which gambling could have on their lives.
The St Joseph’s Catholic School pupils who took part in the lessons about gambling as part of their personal, social, health and economic education (PHSE) curriculum, found the information provided very useful. They said that the lessons have helped them better understand the behaviour of people who gamble and the reasons they usually have.