London, 17 October 2023: Ygam hosted a lunchtime reception for Members of the Senedd in Cardiff earlier this week, with politicians from all parties in attendance to learn more about the charity and show their support.
Sponsored by Darren Millar MS, the event presented Ygam with an opportunity to brief Members of the Senedd on the issues of gaming and gambling harms amongst children and young people in Wales. Ygam also showcased the work it is doing with schools, colleges, universities, youth clubs and other organisations throughout all of the Welsh regions.
Data from the Gambling Commissions shows 48% of 12–16-year-olds in Wales had experience of gambling in the past 12 months. Amongst children aged 12-13 in Wales, 30% had gambled with their own money in the past 12 months.
The reception was well attended with the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew RT Davies AS in attendance alongside the Shadow Education Minister, Laura Anne Jones MS. Other attendees included Labour’s Jenny Rathbone MS, Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Gambling Related Harm and David Rees AS, Deputy Presiding Officer. The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Rocio Cifuentes, also made an appearance at the event.
Darren Millar MS, the Member of the Senedd for Clwyd West, said: “With the evolving nature of the gambling and gaming industry, Ygam’s work on harm prevention in the ever-changing digital landscape is vital, so I urge the Welsh and UK governments to work together to address the challenges posed by the industry. I am proud to support Ygam in their mission and I will continue to collaborate with them in the years to come.”
Daniel Bliss, Director of External Affairs at Ygam, said: “It’s been a very productive few days in Cardiff for the Ygam team. It was encouraging to see so many Members of the Senedd offering their support and exploring ways they can support Ygam to increase our reach and impact in constituencies throughout Wales. Building on this, we will continue engaging with the Welsh Government and relevant stakeholders to utilise the devolved authorities for health and education. With a joined up public health approach, we can safeguard the children and young people in Wales and prevent harm.’
Earlier that day, members of the Ygam team were at the Tŷ Hywel for a meeting with Lynne Neagle MS, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing. Ms Neagle’s ministerial brief includes the ‘health impact of problem gambling’.
Ygam’s visit to the Welsh capital also included stakeholders meeting with FA Wales, Princes Trust Cymru, Scouts Cymru, St John Ambulance Cymru and Cardiff University.