Britain’s 30-million gamblers—to be more specific, the 30-million of us who place a bet at least once a year—have been given a seasonal message of goodwill to all by the BGC, the nation’s Betting and Gaming Council.
Have no fear, the BGC has announced in an update on their 10-point Covid-19 action plan this week, we are determined to take care of you.
The number of safer gambling messages displayed on the websites of betting operators has more than doubled in the six months since the launch of the action plan at the onset of the pandemic lockdowns.
Top of the pledges was a commitment to increase the frequency of safer gambling messages on websites and direct mails to punters.
These have increased by 100 per cent and 150 per cent, respectively, since the start of the first lockdown in April.
In all, the total number of direct mails with a safer gambling message surged from six million to 11 million a month, an increase of almost 90 per cent.
Operators also increased their number of direct interventions, by 25 per cent, to stop perceived excessive gambling: halting play if a punter was spending too much time or too much money gaming.
BGC members are all on board with the special Covid-era safer gambling measures.
“These latest findings show that the BGC has led the way and is achieving real results on safer gambling,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.
“The Betting and Gaming Council was set up last year as a standards body committed to driving big changes across much of the regulated industry.
“The introduction of the 10-pledge plan at the start of lockdown was further evidence of success – and our members re-affirmed their support for the pledges when the second lockdown began.
“Around 30 million people in Britain place a bet at least once a year, on the National Lottery, in betting shops, casinos or at the bingo, and the overwhelming majority do so without any problems,” said Dugher.
He added that the government’s Gambling Commission has yet to find evidence of an increase in problem gambling during the phases of lockdown.
“[But] we can and must do more to tackle it — and protect vulnerable and at risk customers.
“That is why we are looking forward to the Government beginning its Gambling Review so we can further improve standards, whilst ensuring that customers are not driven into the arms of the illegal offshore market where there are no standards or safeguards.
“We wish all of Britain’s gaming community a happy and safe Christmas.”