Following a recent call centre visit by CEO Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes has announced a £180,000 donation to national problem gambling support charity GamCare to help fund its new Youth Programme.
The firm will provide the backing in 2016 and 2017, to help fund three regional ‘youth hubs’ across the UK to provide information, advice, early interventions, and links to treatment for young people. The programme was first piloted in Bristol during 2015 and showed positive results.
Professionals trained indicated that they have a better understanding of recognising and dealing with gambling problems in young people, and young people who took part in the programme fed back that they planned to reduce either the time or money that they spend on gambling.
The donation will provide resources for regional youth outreach workers to provide free workshops and training, as well as materials and screening tools to assist local youth services professionals and teachers in identifying young people at risk. Each youth hub will also provide a structure for referrals to treatment for youth and young people who are vulnerable to gambling related harm.
Jim Mullen said of the donation: “When I spent time with Dirk and his team, I got a real sense of how effective their interventions can be and how important it is for people to get timely advice.
“For most people, gambling is a safe and thrilling way to spend their leisure time, and I want people to enjoy it responsibly. The idea that we can begin to inform and educate young adults about the potential problems associated with gambling is something that feels right to me.
“Evidence suggests young people may be more prone to losing control over their gambling and through this piece of work, we have the opportunity to help people remember that gambling should be fun, not a problem.”
Through annual payments to the Responsible Gambling Trust, Ladbrokes already contribute indirectly to GamCare’s core activity funding. Today’s announcement is entirely new funding and underlines the firm’s commitment to tackling problem gambling.
Dirk Hansen, CEO of GamCare, commented: “We sincerely thank Jim Mullen and Ladbrokes for this contribution to our work with young people across the UK. Our work aims to ensure that young people can access honest, accurate and relevant information about gambling and make informed choices about whether they choose to gamble.
“Because of this programme, young people will also be able to access help and support tailored for them should they need it. This donation, along with recent support from the Rank Group, will allow us to achieve national scale with this vital service.”