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Safer Gambling Week 2021 confirmed for 1-7 November

| By Robert Fletcher
Safer Gambling Week 2021 will take place from 1-7 November, with organisations behind the initiative to again champion higher standards across the industry.

Backed by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Bingo Association and British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta), the project launched in 2017 as Responsible Gambling Week before being rebranded as Safer Gambling Week last year.

This year’s event will again see a wide range of safer gambling messages displayed online and in land-based venues across the UK, with the aim of sparking a nationwide conversation on how to bet and gamble responsibly.

The 2020 event led to 19 million social media impressions, up 19% on the previous year despite the closure of betting shops, casinos, bingo clubs and amusement arcades across the UK due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.

Visits to the Safer Gambling Week website during last year’s campaign were also up by 18% year-on-year, while operators reported an increase in the number of customers using safer gambling tools such as deposit limits and self-exclusion.

“Last year’s event was a huge success despite the pandemic and, with the prospect of betting shops and casinos being open when this year’s takes place, I’m sure Safer Gambling Week 2021 will be even better,” BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said.

“Our members already demonstrate their commitment to safer gambling through things like increased funding for research, education and treatment, 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.”

Bingo Association chief executive Miles Baron also backed the initiative, saying that Safer Gambling Week is a key part of the bingo industry’s commitment to social responsibility.

“As venue-based businesses, the sector recognises the important opportunity we have to promote safer gambling messages and engage directly with customers,” Baron said.

John White, chief executive of Bacta, added that the initiative brings customer focus to the tools that are available to them if they their gambling is becoming problematic.

“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,” White said.

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