Guidance counsellors trained to tackle underage gambling

July 01, 2022

One hundred and fifty guidance counsellors from various primary and secondary schools in Kingston and St Andrew are being trained in underage gambling prevention.

The training is being conducted using a lesson plan created by RISE Life Management Services, in collaboration with the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC).

Maurice Thompson, director in charge of licensing and registration at the BGLC, says that parents, teachers and counsellors share the responsibility of protecting the nation's children from engaging in gambling before they become adults.

"We must educate them about the risks and harms they face by participating in gambling too early, if at all. We must ensure that we can provide the support for them if they do fall victim to the harms that, no doubt, children will suffer when they participate in gambling," said Thompson.

He was speaking during the second day of the training at the Ministry of Education and Youth's Caenwood Centre in Kingston.

Meanwhile, Richard Henry, programme manager for responsible gaming counselling and support services at RISE Life, said children are exposed to gambling through advertising and other elements. He said that they need to have the necessary skills to interpret what is seen in the media.

"If they interpret it wrong, it could glamourise gambling, encourage them to want to do gambling and, for some of them, thinking that this is a way for them to survive when they get older as opposed to setting goals, focusing on education and having a good job," Henry said.

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