Industry, Government and the Regulator Come Together to Back Safer Gambling Week
This year’s Safer Gambling Week event will run from today until Sunday 23rd October and will see the whole industry coming together in a concerted effort to raise awareness of safer gambling, the tools that are available to help and sources of further advice and support.
The Safer Gambling Week campaign, organised by the Betting and Gaming Council, BACTA and the Bingo Association, is now in its fifth year and this year’s event will see a blitz of safer gambling messages both online and in land-based venues, to spark a nationwide conversation about betting responsibly.
Damian Collins MP, DCMS Parliamentary Under-Secretary, said: “We support the industry coming together to champion safer gambling and highlight the resources available to help reduce harmful gambling.
“We are working quickly to finalise details of a gambling white paper to make sure the rules governing the industry are fit for the digital age.”
Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, said: “Any opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the importance of gambling safely and securely is important. Safer Gambling Week provides that platform but also gives an additional chance for operators to collaborate and share best practice around how they protect their customers. The safety of customers should be at the heart of each and every decision operators make.”
Lucy Powell, Shadow Secretary of State for DCMS, said: “The Safer Gambling Week campaign is an important initiative to promote gambling awareness and to prevent problem gambling. I welcome gambling companies taking more responsibility for this and for supporting Safer Gambling.”
The annual campaign will build upon the record-breaking Safer Gambling Week 2021 during which the promotion and awareness of safer gambling tools such as deposit limits led to an increase by 17% in their use vs the previous 4-week average. The number of social media impressions for Safer Gambling Week 2021 – hit 24.5 million, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year.
Regulated betting and gaming operators already work tirelessly all year round to promote safer gambling, including by encouraging deposit limits and time-outs, as well as directing customers to the range of self-exclusion services that exist.
Safer Gambling Week provides an opportunity to go even further by encouraging businesses and organisations to start a conversation, not only with staff and customers, but also with their friends and family. The annual campaign provides a consistent voice to raise awareness of safer gambling, highlighting support and the tools that are available throughout the year.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, said: “We know that at 0.2 per cent, rates of problem gambling have fallen and are low by international comparisons, which is welcome news, but Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards.
“Safer Gambling Week is about showcasing safer gambling tools – like time-outs and deposit limits – that exist in the regulated industry to ensure that the millions of people who enjoy a regular flutter continue to do so in a safe and responsible environment. It’s also, most crucially, about signposting the professional advice, support and help that is out there for anyone who may be struggling with gambling.”
Safer gambling describes an industry-wide commitment to reducing the risk of problem gambling and gambling-related harms. A core feature of this commitment is to empower customers with the knowledge of safer gambling tools to manage their gambling more safely.
The latest statistics from the Gambling Commission showed the rate of problem gambling in the year to June 2022 was 0.2 per cent of the population – down from 0.4 per cent the year previous. However, one problem gambler is one too many and there is no room for complacency.
The industry – which includes betting, gaming, amusements, casinos, and bingo – is committed to building upon its record on safer gambling to go further to support customers.
Safer Gambling Week is just one of the ways we work together to do this.
Miles Baron, Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, said: “The Bingo Association is delighted to be working alongside BACTA and The Betting and Gaming Council to once again support and promote Safer Gambling Week.”
John White, Chief Executive of Bacta, said: “SG Week provides an opportunity to highlight what the gambling sector does all year round to ensure customers can enjoy their recreational wagering safe in the knowledge that operators are there for them and their peers if things start to get out of control.”