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Safer Gambling Week to take place from 17-23 October
This will be the fifth iteration of the event organised by the Betting and Gaming Council, Bacta, the Lotteries Council and the Bingo Association, and will be the third under the name Safer Gambling Week, after it was rebranded from Responsible Gambling Week.
The event will include “a blitz of safer gambling messages”, both online and in land-based venues, which the BGC says it hopes will “spark a nationwide conversation about betting responsibly”.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said that while the industry focuses on safer gambling all year – highlighted by reduction in the national problem gambling rate to 0.2% – the event allowed the sector to demonstrate its focus on preventing harm.
“Safer Gambling Week is now an established annual event,” Dugher said. “We know that rates of problem gambling are low and are now falling, which is great news, but Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards.
“BGC members demonstrate their commitment to safer gambling every day through initiatives such as the whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting commercials during live sport and strict ID and age verification checks.
“Safer Gambling Week is a great opportunity to highlight this fantastic work – and emphasises the difference between the regulated industry and the unlicensed and illegal online black market, which has none of the safeguards which are commonplace among our members.
“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. As venue-based businesses, the sector recognises the important opportunity we have to promote safer gambling messages and engage directly with customers.”
The BGC noted that during the 2021 event, the promotion of safer gambling tools such as deposit limits led to a 17% increase in their use compared to the previous four-week average. In addition, the 2021 event drew 24.5 million social media impressions, up 16% from 2020, while sessions on the Safer Gambling Week website rocketed by 79%.
“Safer Gambling Week once again allows the industry to showcase its year-round commitment to safer gambling. It also brings customer focus to the tools that are available to them if they in any way feel their gambling is becoming problematic,” Bacta chief executive John White said. “Those tools continue to grow as we learn more about safer gambling and form part of our ambition to cement social responsibility at the heart of our offer to the consumer.”
Miles Baron, chief executive of the Bingo Association, said the week would allow bingo operators to engage more directly with players to ensure that they are gambling safely.
“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,” he said. “As venue-based businesses, the sector recognises the important opportunity we have to promote safer gambling messages and engage directly with customers.”