BGC members reaffirm commitment to 10-pledge action plan

The betting and Gaming Council has reaffirmed its commitment to a 10-point pledge aimed at protecting staff and customers.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has reaffirmed its commitment to a 10-point Covid action plan aimed at protecting staff and customers.

The BGC’s 10-point plan

The BGC’s action plan, which outlines the standards expected of BGC members, was initially introduced in March as the UK entered a national lockdown. 

When the UK entered lockdown back in March, there were concerns that the closure of betting shops and casinos could lead to a spike in online problem gambling.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “Our members did not hesitate to sign up to our 10-pledge action plan in March and I am delighted that they have done so again as we, regrettably, go back into some form of lockdown, admittedly with far fewer restrictions this time.

BGC members have again signed up to the 10-point action plan which includes an increase in safer gambling messaging, the promotion of deposit limits and welfare checks for staff members.

The points outlined in the action plan are in addition to the operators’ existing pledge that at least 20% of TV and radio advertisements should be safer gambling messages, which built upon the whistle to whistle ban on TV betting ads during live sports broadcasts

The BGC’s pledges are: 

  1. Increase safer gambling messages across all sites and direct to all customers.
  2. Step up interventions if customers increase time and spend beyond normal pre-crisis patterns.
  3. Actively promote deposit limits.
  4. Action to ensure appropriate and responsible advertising including monitoring volume.
  5. Report all illegal, rogue advertising from black market online operators.
  6. One-strike-and-you’re-out policy where affiliates breach pledges.
  7. Signpost help to GAMCARE and the National Gambling Helpline and GamStop for self-exclusion.
  8. Ongoing commitment to ensuring funding for Research Education and Treatment (RET).
  9. Welfare checks and well-being help for staff.
  10. Supporting the Government’s ‘National Effort’ with volunteers and facilities

Dugher added: “Nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of our staff and customers, and these pledges make very clear the standards expected of our members in the coming weeks.

“This is further evidence of our commitment, ahead of the Government’s Review, to driving up standards across our industry, as well as our members’ strong support to supporting the national effort to defeat Covid-19.”

England enters a second lockdown

This announcement comes as England enters a second national coronavirus lockdown due to surge in cases and deaths.

Under the new lockdown measures, which came into effect yesterday, non-essential retail and leisure facilities across England will remain locked until 2nd December to halt the spread of COVID-19. 

Betting shops had only been open again since mid-June, following the end of the first lockdown earlier this year. Land-based casinos were given the green light to reopen on 15 August.

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