Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust
The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) is a national charity with a social purpose to inform, educate and safeguard young and vulnerable people, helping them build resilience and understand the potential harms caused by gambling and gaming.
Parents can often feel overwhelmed in a world of constantly advancing technology and YGAM is keen to provide simple, usable resources to help parents have honest and open conversations with their children around the topics of gaming and gambling.
There are supposed to be protections in place to keep children away from the risk of gambling. However, the way that online apps and games work, give rise to behaviours that might groom children towards gambling.
In late 2019, the Gambling Commission published a report investigating the impact of gambling on 11-16 year olds in Great Britain. The report singled out the loot box as an example of the blurring of gaming and gambling, finding that 44% of young people who are familiar with in-game items had paid money to open loot boxes in-game. Loot boxes can be bought within a game, and contain a random selection of items.
The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has resources for parents and teachers and can be found here
The snide tactics used by loan sharks
The Manchester Evening News has a track record of excellent investigative journalism looking at a range of safeguarding topics. One of the recent long articles looked at the tactics of loan sharks. The image that often comes to mind of a loan shark is of ‘heavies’ threatening violence. This article shows that their methods can be much more emotionally intimidating.
With a likely economic downturn, increased unemployment, evictions and financial hardship may affect many more people. Loan sharks thrive in such circumstances. This article is well-worth a read.
Three things I learned from this newspaper article:
Snapchat and WhatsApp are regularly used to contact vulnerable people and one in five victims met their lender via social media in the first half of 2020.
It takes on average three years for a victim to come forward for help after borrowing from a loan shark.
Some loan sharks make people turn to shoplifting to pay off their debts.