YGAM & GamCare ramp up digital RG resources during pandemic

12 June 2020

Leading responsible gambling charities YGAM (The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust) and GamCare are accelerating the digital transformation of their educational resources, in order to continue offering support for those suffering gambling-related harms throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

YGAM, a national education charity with a social purpose to inform, educate, safeguard and "build digital resilience" amongst young and vulnerable people, has been offering its practitioner workshops, aimed at training professionals to support vulnerable people, online.

The workshops would traditionally have taken place face-to-face, but since the UK went into lockdown in response to the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the charity has decided to digitalise the experience.

According to operations director Kev Clelland: “During lockdown the YGAM practitioner workshops have been presented as a blended digital offering which is proving hugely popular with both teachers and other professionals.

"Our education team has trained over 300 practitioners online, significantly more than the number we had planned to train face-to-face. Such has been the success that YGAM is now building up to deliver a minimum of five blended digital practitioner workshops a week.”

In addition, YGAM has recently launched its ‘Parent Hub’, offering a variety of online resources to help support families and build digital resilience among young people. It is expected that additional video content, podcasts, and social media campaigns will contribute to the Parent Hub’s development.

GamCare, similarly, have moved online with content and resources which would traditionally be provided face-to-face. Workshops for young people and CPD accredited training sessions for professionals have been taken online, for example, resulting in a doubling of attendance from April to May. GamCare also expects to release new eLearning modules which are currently in development.

The GB Gambling Commission is regularly releasing information on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on gambling behaviours. Its website points to data showing that 23% of people report feeling their mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic, with 39% seeing a decrease in their disposable income.

Overall, the data shows that fewer consumers are gambling than before the pandemic, although many of those who are gambling are experimenting with new products.  

A survey of ‘recent gamblers’ suggests 15% are spending more time and money on gambling under the pandemic. For ‘engaged gamblers’ (those who have participated in at least 3 gambling activities in the last 4 weeks) more than six in ten (62%) have increased either the amount of time or money they have spent on at least one gambling activity. It should be noted this does not necessarily mean that the time or money they have spent overall on all gambling has increased.