Safer Gambling Week Gets Underway in the UK

As gambling advertising in the UK and the nation’s gambling industry, as a whole, face uncertain future, its many sectors have united and teamed up with national gambling support charities and other involved parties for the latest Safer Gambling Week. The event runs under the strapline ‘Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling.’

The cross-industry nationwide initiative got underway today, November 19, and will run through November 25. It is into its fourth year, but this is the first time it is titled Safer Gambling Week, having rebranded from Responsible Gambling Week.

This industry-led campaign aims to encourage broader discussions and conversations about the importance of safe and responsible gambling and betting. The initiative also wants to engage gambling customers, staff at gambling companies, and the wider public about gambling in a safe and responsible manner.

This objectives before this year’s edition of Safer Gambling Week include driving awareness of how people can gamble more safely, what tools are currently available to help people gamble safely not just during the next seven days but all year round, and how people can access more sources for additional advice and support.

Safer Gambling Week is led by the Betting and Gaming Council, The Bingo Association, the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (Bacta), and the Irish Bookmakers Association and its members. The campaign has garnered support from across the industry, including UK’s arcades, bingo clubs, betting shops, casinos, and online gambling operations, which makes it a truly pan-industry initiative.

Safer Gambling Week has also seen support from the GamCare and YGAM gambling support charities, DCMS Minister Nigel Huddleston on behalf of the UK Government, and UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur on behalf of the regulator.

Activities During Safer Gambling Week

Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council, said today that Safer Gambling Week aims to show that the industry is committed to safer gambling and that commitment is not limited to a single week but continue throughout the year.

As part of its objective to encourage safer gambling conversations all year round, the week-long campaign includes a number of activities.

A range of promotional materials have been made available to all organizations that support the initiative. These materials encourage people to ask questions about gambling behavior and when gambling behavior is a sign of problem gambling, outline five key behavior patterns of safer gambling, provide details of where people can obtain more information about safer gambling or help if they feel they need some, and promote Safer Gambling Week, its website and social media channels (all @SGWeek20).

Gambling venues and online gambling operations will be promoting the initiatives on their websites, social media, and on site. Land-based gambling establishments would have been promoting Safer Gambling Week even more actively, but most of them are currently closed to the general public as many parts of the UK are in the middle of a lockdown aiming to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Responsible gambling charities such as the National Gambling Helpline, GamCare, and YGAM are too set to promote the week and have prepared their staff for increased number of enquiries. As for gamblers, they are encouraged to reach out to these for any information they need about safer gambling.

Safer Gambling Week is taking place as the UK gambling industry braces for a Government review that could introduce significant restrictions and new, tougher rules on how gambling products and services are provided in the nation.

The review was expected to be launched by the end of the year, but reports have emerged that it has been pushed back to early 2021. In any case, it could include new curbs on gambling ads and sports sponsorships by betting brands as well as the introduction of online spend and stake limits and of a maximum length of time that a gambling customer should spend gambling.

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