November 17, 2020 written by

Safer Gambling Week starts this Thursday

This week marks the fourth annual Safer Gambling Week – an initiative championing responsible gambling standards, behaviours and education across the UK.

It will run from Thursday 19 until Wednesday 25 November and is comprised of a series of events and resources that will be shared on social media. 

Safer Gambling Week will give bingo, arcade and casino operators the opportunity to ‘start a conversation about safer gambling’ with customers, staff, and the wider world. 

Led by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), The Bingo Association (BA) and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA), this year’s campaign will feature the tagline ‘Let’s talk about safer gambling’. 

It used to be known as Responsible Gambling Week until it underwent a name change in 2019.

Promotions for the campaign will use a range of six key messages, with each item providing details of free and confidential contact points for further information and advice. They include:

  • 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

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive, Betting and Gaming Council, speaks of the campaign’s past success: “This awareness campaign has achieved a significant increase in engagement at all levels on the tools and support available to customers. We achieved over 25 million impressions on social media in 2019, which demonstrates the breadth and reach of the campaign.”

Typically, you would find logos and information for the campaign displayed on FOBTs in pubs, bars and bookies all across the country. However, due to the current nation-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, promotions will have to take place online this year. 

The gambling industry has experienced much growth in 2020. Despite the closure of land-based casinos and betting shops in March and again this month, online casinos are growing in popularity. With this, online operators have taken on many changes to advance responsible gambling and better protect customers from spending time and money beyond their means. For example, the BGC slowed slot speeds to prevent players from betting money at too quick a rate. 

Dugher continues about his ongoing plans to protect players from developing harmful habits and the success of the past year: “During the covid-19 outbreak, we have published a 10-pledge action plan to promote safer gambling, while our members also voluntarily agreed to remove TV and radio gaming advertising, replacing their slots with safer gambling messages or donating them to charity.”

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