N. Ireland To Increase Problem Gambling Awareness In Schools January 12, 2023 Mike Ashley

N. Ireland To Increase Problem Gambling Awareness In Schools

School Children in ClassSummary

  • The new resource includes five lessons discussing the dangers surrounding gambling
  • It is targeted at Key Stage 3 students aged 11 to 14 years old
  • Among the topics covered are in-game features, such as loot boxes

Northern Ireland’s Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) has put together lessons about gambling and gaming, intended for students aged 11 to 14 years old.

The topics covered in the lessons include scratch cards, sports wagering, and video game betting. The new lessons aim to educate young students about the dangers associated with gambling and gaming.

Gambling Awareness Resource for Students

The new gambling and gaming awareness resource was designed to help educators in delivering the Learning for Life and Work (LLW): Personal Development curriculum for Key Stage 3 learners.

The resource includes five lessons, the first of which discusses how leisure activities can affect one’s wellbeing. The subsequent lessons delve into gambling, the risks it poses, and the methods gambling companies employ to entice people to gamble.

Video game features with gambling-like characteristics, such as loot boxes and skins, are among the key topics covered.

Loot boxes have attracted controversy in recent years as many consider the in-game feature to be a form of gambling. They work like mystery treasure chests that can be purchased using real money. However, the players are clueless about what’s inside the box until they open it. Virtual items contained in the mystery box could include special weapons, skins, and costumes that can be used to enhance gameplay.

Earlier this year, a report from the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) stated that loot boxes are “exploitative” as they manipulate players into spending massive sums of money on them. The report was backed by 18 European consumer groups. Recent studies also link loot boxes to problem gambling.

The CCEA lessons will enable students to know whether they are involved in activities that are considered gambling. They will also be better informed about the techniques used by gambling firms to keep them playing, such as free bets and other promotional materials and messages.

Students Need to be Educated about Gambling Risks

Certain schools in Northern Ireland have already been using a gambling education program launched by the Gambling With Lives charity in 2021. One of those schools is Dundonald High School. Laura Haggan, a teacher at Dundonald High, said educating students about gambling addiction had been overlooked for several years as institutions were more focused on addiction surrounding drugs and alcohol.

Ms. Haggan said promoting gambling awareness is necessary, especially in Northern Ireland which has one of the highest gambling participation rates in the UK.

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