The Gambling Health Alliance (GHA), led by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), has welcomed YGAMs new ‘ParentHub’ website labelling such types of resources as ‘vitally important’ for parents as schools break up for the summer holidays.

In December 2019, RSPH published the ‘Skins in the Game’ report which called for ‘parents to be given more information in order to support young people to avoid gambling harms’. Research from the Children’s Commissioner suggests 93% of children play video games and Gambling Commission research shows there 55,000 11-16 years olds classified as problem gamblers in England, Scotland and Wales.

The national charity, the Young Gamers and Gamblers Educations Trust (YGAM), has partnered with research teams from Newcastle and Loughborough Universities to help parents and carers understand the latest digital gaming products accessible to children such as loot boxes. The expert insight and advice is available on YGAM’s new ‘Parent Hub’ website which provides families with the resources, information and activities to help build digital resilience and safeguard children.

Duncan Stephenson, Chair of the GHA and Deputy Chief Executive of RSPH said: “Most children and young people have instant access to a largely ‘wild west’ digital world and this can include exposure to gambling.  Even gaming, a pastime which is a fun and positive experience for many young people is now crammed with gambling-like features.”

“Given a lack of regulation in this area, together with the fact that gambling-like features have grown incredibly quickly over the last few years it is no wonder that parents are finding it challenging to keep up.  We therefore welcome the new YGAM Parent Hub as a vitally important and much needed resource to help parents better understand some of the issues around  gambling within gaming, and to support families to maximise the positives of gaming and mitigate the negatives.”

Amanda Atkinson, Head of Parental Engagement at YGAM said: “In many households, we find that parents have limited knowledge of what games their children are playing online. As the RSPH report highlighted, some parents also have a lack understanding of the potential risks of gaming and gambling related harms. Our new website answers many of the questions that parents have and will provide them with the tools to make informed decisions for their children. As schools break up for the summer holidays and many places remained closed,  children will be spending more time online so the launch of our ‘Parent Hub’ website has never been more important.”

In 2019, RSPH established the Gambling Health Alliance. The objective of the Alliance is to bring together organisations and individuals who have a shared interest in reducing the damage caused to health and wellbeing from gambling.