BGC hails success of COVID action plan

BGC hails success of COVID action plan

The UK trade body says safer gambling messages have more than doubled in six months.

UK.- The UK trade body, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), says its “COVID action plan” has improved safer gambling messaging with the number of messages on gaming sites doubling in just six months.

The council presented its ten-pledge plan after the UK government declared the first nationwide lockdown in March. The plan set new standards and duties for BGC members during the pandemic due to fears that the closure of betting shops could lead to more problem gambling online.

Its measures included the removal of all TV and radio advertising during the beginning of the pandemic, an increase in the number of safer gambling messages and the active promotion of deposit limits and staff welfare checks.

The body reaffirmed its plan at the beginning of the UK’s second lockdown. Since TV and radio advertising returned, members have agreed that 20 per cent should be safer gambling messages.

BGC chief executive, Michael Dugher, said: “The Betting and Gaming Council was set up last year as a standards body committed to driving big changes across much of the regulated industry.

“These latest findings show that the BGC has led the way and is achieving real results on safer gambling.

“The introduction of the ten-pledge plan at the start of lockdown was further evidence of success – and our members re-affirmed their support for the pledges when the second lockdown began.”

The BGC says its data shows that safer gambling messages on gaming sites had increased by 100 per cent in the first six months after the launch of the plan, and the number of individual customers receiving safer gambling messages via direct mail by 150 per cent. 

The council said the total number of direct mails that included a safer gambling message had jumped by 89 per cent, from 6 million to over 11 million each month.

Operators were also intervening more, it said, with a 25 per cent rise in the number of cases of direct intervention when players were seen to be betting more than previously.

Betting shops in England were to reopen this week following the end of the second nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Figures show that land-based gaming in Britain as a whole saw a decline in revenue in the last financial year.

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