The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said that the values surrounding Safer Gambling Week are important “not for one week but for all year round.”
This morning, Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) CEO Michael Dugher marked the beginning of Safer Gambling Week by stating that the industry’s commitment to safer gambling is “not for one week but for all year round.”
Safer Gambling Week, which was formerly known as Responsible Gambling Week, kicks off today (19 November) and will run until 25 November. The industry’s key area of focus this year is customer intervention.
Safer Gambling Week is led by the BGC, The Bingo Association and bacta, with the Irish Bookmakers Association and its members taking part too.
The BGC said that during the week would see operators starting conversations with customers about the help that is available them, as well as promoting time and spending limits.
Online gambling operators will display responsible gambling messaging in pop-ups and banner ads, whereas land-based facilities will display safer gambling messaging in windows and if they are open provide leaflets with information on help and support.
Lockdowns will not diminish safer gambling efforts
Although several retail and land-based gambling facilities are closed across the UK due to lockdowns aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus, online operators and facilities that are open will make efforts to promote safer gambling.
Dugher explained that the lockdowns across the country would not diminish the safer gambling efforts this week.
Dugher said: “The various lockdowns across the UK will inevitably mean that Safer Gambling Week 2020 will be different from those which have gone before, but its central theme remains as important as ever and will still be heard loud and clear.
“Safer Gambling Week is incredibly important, but safer gambling should not be seen by anyone as simply something we support for one week of the year – it is a commitment for every week of the year.”
The BGC executive did point out that while the majority of gamblers do not have a problem with their play, Safer Gambling Week is still important as any level of problem gambling must be addressed.
Dugher added: “Some 30 million people in Britain enjoy a flutter every year – whether that’s in betting shops, casinos, playing bingo, betting and gaming online or on the National Lottery – and the vast majority do so perfectly safely.
“However, one problem gambler is one too many, which is why we are delighted to support Safer Gambling Week.”
Sports minister and Gambling Commission support Safer Gambling Week
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston also chimed in on the launch of Safer Gambling Week, saying that he was pleased to see the entire industry working together to promote safer gambling.
Huddleston said: “Gambling operators have a responsibility to keep customers safe from harm. I’m pleased that the industry is coming together to recognise the importance of clear and consistent safer gambling messaging and to help those who need it find support.”
Neil McArthur, chief executive of industry regulator the Gambling Commission, said: “We welcome the emphasis on safer gambling and it is encouraging to see operators from all sectors collaborating to raise awareness of the need to put consumer safety at the heart of everything they do.”
Football teams support Safer Gambling Week
Given the close ties between gambling and sports, several football teams have also thrown their support behind Safer Gambling Week.
Brentford FC signed up to support the responsible gambling initiative by promoting Safer Gambling Week messaging on LED screens on match days and sharing information on five key responsible gambling behaviours:
- Only spend what you can afford
- Set your limits for time and money
- Gambling is not the answer to any problem
- Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea
- Gambling shouldn’t interfere with your personal relationship
Southend United will also support the week by carrying messaging on its LED screens during match days and the team will change its shirt logo to Safer Gambling Week 2020 for a limited number of matches
On top of this, Football Index donated its shirt sponsorship for Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers football clubs to the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM).
The two clubs will carry the YGAM logo on the front of their shirts to promote the charity.
As a result, QPR will wear special edition shirts during their match against Watford on 21 November while Nottingham Forest will wear the special edition shirt in their game against Bournemouth on 24 November.
In addition to donating its shirt sponsorship, Football Index will also be supporting the YGAM’s work with a £5,000 donation.