UK Gambling Commission Announces Support For Safer Gambling Week

UK Gambling Commission Safer Gambling Week

The UK Gambling Commission has announced its support for the Safer Gambling Week campaign.

The annual campaign will see all sectors of the gambling industry unite to promote safer gambling between November 19th and 25th. The campaign will involve more than 9,000 gambling venues and online websites.

In addition to gambling venues and websites, Safer Gambling Week, which originally launched as Responsible Gambling Week in 2017, has been backed by Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur as well as Nigel Huddleston, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage.

This year’s campaign has also been backed by the Association of Irish Bookmakers as well as more than 210 Official Supporting organisation, and it is currently being spearheaded by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the Bingo Association (BGA), and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (bacta).

As reported by CasinoBeats, it will use the “Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling” tagline, a message that has been praised by supports as research suggests it “strikes the right chord with the wide and diverse range of audiences”.

The campaign aims to “build on and add to the work that operators and other organisations undertake throughout the year” in promoting safe gambling through consistent messaging and branding at real-life venues, at online websites, and on social media too.

Some of the messages that will be promoted throughout the campaign week include the following:

  • Ask yourself… have you carried on past your spending limit?
  • Just a heads up… it’s good to set yourself limits
  • Just a heads up… it’s easy to lose track of time when gambling
  • Play smart… know when to stop
  • Remember… friends and family are more important than gambling
  • Remember… gambling is not a way to make money

The above messages will appear on posters, contact cards, leaflets, web banners, social media content, and more as part of a move to “drive the national conversation” on safer gambling.

Speaking about the campaign, Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur said: “We welcome the emphasis on safer gambling, and it is encouraging to see operators from all sectors collaborating to raise awareness of the need to put consumer safety at the heart of everything they do.”

Nigel Huddleston added: “Gambling operators have a responsibility to keep customers safe from harm. I’m pleased that the industry is coming together to recognise the importance of clear and consistent safer gambling messaging and to help those who need it find support.”

Safer Gambling Week: What They Say

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) Chief Executive Michael Dugher also commented on the campaign, saying: “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s Safer Gambling Week. We have made huge strides at the BGC in our first year in raising standards, including a requirement that at least 20 per cent of all TV and radio betting ads are safer gambling messaging, cooling-off periods on gaming machines, encouraging deposit limits, new ID and age verification checks, and massively increasing funding for research, education, and treatment.

“But we are eager to go further – and look forward to working with the government on the gambling review to introduce further changes that ensure that the millions of people who enjoy an occasional flutter, do so enjoyably and safely.”

John White, the Chief Executive of bacta, added: “Safer Gambling Week gives the industry a great opportunity not only to highlight to customers the information and support that is available throughout the year, and how we help ensure they gamble more safely, but also for operators and staff to reassess what they do and how they do it in delivering safer gambling messages to customers and helping them find support should they need it.”

Miles Baron, the Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, told SBC News: “Safer Gambling Week is an important part of the bingo industry’s commitment to social responsibility and provides a useful focal point for highlighting activity and support that is available throughout the year.

“Despite the challenges faced by operators in the sector with physical premises, we remain committed to raising awareness of safer gambling and Safer Gambling Week. The support from the Minister and Commission is welcomed, and I am sure will encourage yet wider participation in this important campaign.”

The news comes amid the UK Government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005, and as both the UK Gambling Commission and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) work to raise standards throughout the United Kingdom regarding both online and offline gambling.

The Commission has already banned credit cards from being used for gambling and partnered with the BGC to create a new code of conduct regarding the design and play of video slots.

What’s more, the Commission has launched new consultation for tighter casino operator requirements when it comes to identifying and helping customers at risk of gambling harm, as well as discussions on thresholds for affordability checks and what said checks should involve.

Meanwhile, the Commission has reiterated its commitment to helping gambling customers during England’s COVID-19 lockdown and has urged all online gambling operators to ensure they keep to the highest standards and follow the guidelines issued by the Commission during the first UK lockdown, which included a ban on reverse withdrawals, to keep customers protected and safe.

The BGC has also re-affirmed its commitment to its 10-pledge COVID-19 action plan which was unveiled back in March and created to help gambling staff members and customers, and to set out the standards expected from all BGC members. As we reported last week, all BGC members have signed up to the pledges through England’s lockdown to December 2nd.