GamCare is launching a new Code of Conduct for gambling businesses which will simplify how information about safer gambling tools, plus the support available for anyone struggling to control their gambling, is displayed on UK gambling websites and apps.
The new Industry Code for the Display of Safer Gambling Information sets out how online gambling businesses can make information about safer gambling tools and specialist gambling support services more prominent, visible, and consistent for online customers, ensuring resources and services are clear and easy to access.
According to Gambling Commission data, participation in online gambling activities has increased during the pandemic with a month-on-month increase of 6% in active accounts and 12% in bets. In light of this, and the ongoing national lockdown, the Commission has urged gambling businesses to be extra vigilant as people will be spending more time at home and online, and may feel more vulnerable as a result of the length and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic period.
It is estimated that less than 5% of those affected by gambling harms across Great Britain currently access gambling support services1. Information on how to access these services, as well as how to access tools such as deposit limits and time outs, is not currently displayed in a consistent, accessible format across gambling apps and websites. While there has been around a 14% increase in customers implementing safer gambling tools during the pandemic, there is still more that can be done to ensure the majority of customers easily know how to access these tools, and further support if needed.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, says: “We know that only a small proportion of people affected by gambling harms in Great Britain come forward for support each year. By setting minimum standards for the display of safer gambling information for the online sector, we are looking to improve the consistency of information display, and reduce friction for customers so that they can readily access tools to help them manage their gambling, and to access free, specialist support whenever it might be needed.”
GamCare has consulted with Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) members to create the Code, as well as consulting GamCare service users with lived experience of gambling harms and support services. All BGC members offering online gambling activities are expected to comply with the Code within six months.
Brigid Simmonds, Chair at the Betting and Gaming Council, says: “Consistency of message and display is vital, so that customers who sign up to an account with any BGC member find it’s easy to view links to the National Gambling Helpline and further support, or the company’s own messaging around setting deposit limits, how to self-exclude or asking their bank to block gambling payments. Prominent, visible and accessible signposting displayed in a simple way will help our customers and increase use of such tools, which is why we welcome the new GamCare Code.”