The Glasgow Guardian sits down with the project manager of Scottish Gambling Hub to discuss their work at UofG.
The Scottish Gambling Education Hub has launched a student survey that aims to inform both legislation and prevention work and the organisation will be present on campus this freshers week. The survey will explore views on gambling, gaming and cryptocurrency. The charity will also have a presence on campus this semester beginning with their stall at the Welcome Week fayre.
The project manager Fransceca Howard told The Glasgow Guardian that the charity aims to take a “public health approach to gambling, involving collaboration across all sectors in Scotland and advocating for the introduction of a smart industry levy to fund research, education and treatment. The biggest change ultimately that needs to happen is the ban of gambling advertisements and sponsorship. Scotland needs to follow in the footsteps of other European countries and protect its young people from harmful exposure to gambling.”
Fransceca also noted that the issue is particularly pertinent at the moment: “The cost of living crisis has the potential to accelerate some of the concerns around cryptocurrency and gambling being used as a way to make money quickly and pay escalating bills. The Covid pandemic saw similar trends with people being pushed online for connection and being drawn into cryptocurrency trading and gambling as a way of dealing with unemployment and loneliness.”
The Hub is also concerned by the increasing tendency of gambling to creep into children’s gaming platforms: “The increasingly blurred lines between historically different kinds of products and behaviours in gaming, gambling, trading and social media are making it very difficult for legislators to react effectively and in time. The concern is that the measures needed to be put in place to protect people are just not going to happen quickly enough. Most significantly we are getting increased requests from parents around concerns for their children’s gaming, and their links to gaming and gambling behaviours. People want more information and support, and ultimately stricter protections for children and young people in Scotland.”
The survey also runs alongside a youth fund that provides a group of young people up to £1000 to create a resource around gambling harm as a way of peer education and offers direct session trainings with any groups of young people that would be interested in learning more.