Safer Gambling Week gets underway despite lockdown

Safer Gambling Week runs in the UK and Ireland until November 25.
Safer Gambling Week runs in the UK and Ireland until November 25.

This year online operators will be taking up the baton to promote safer gambling in the UK and Ireland.

UK.- Safer Gambling Week can still make an impact despite the majority of land-based casinos and betting shops across the UK and Ireland being closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, industry leaders have said.

Launching the initiative yesterday, Michael Dugher, chief executive of British industry body the Betting and Gaming Council, said online operators and those locations that are open would go ahead with efforts to promote safer gambling.

Operators will promote conversations with customers raising awareness of the help that is available and tools such as limits on time or spending.

With all betting shops and casinos closed in England and the majority closed in Scotland, much of this year’s initiative will come down to online operators, who will run safer gambling messages in banner ads or pop ups. The initiative lasts until November 25.

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.”

Sports minister Nigel 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.”

The Safer Gambling Week initiative this year also comes against a context in which the British government is expected to announce an imminent review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

It has therefore taken on extra importance as the industry strives to show its responsibility on issues such as gambling-related harm.

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