UK: dates announced for Safer Gambling Week 2022

UK: dates announced for Safer Gambling Week 2022

The annual gaming industry initiative will take place in October.

UK.- The dates have been announced for this year’s Safer Gambling Week in the UK. This year’s event will run from October 17 to 23, slightly earlier than last year. Organised by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Bacta, the Lotteries Council and the Bingo Association, the event is now in its fifth year.

The event aims to bring the whole industry together in a concerted effort to further promote safer gambling messages, the tools available to customers to stay in control and the help and support available to those who champion higher standards. It plans a blitz of safer gambling messages both online and in land-based venues to spark a nationwide conversation about betting responsibly.

The BGC said the campaign will build upon the record-breaking Safer Gambling Week 2021 during which the promotion and awareness of safer gambling tools such as deposit limits led to an increase by 17 per cent in their use vs the previous four-week average.

The number of social media impressions for Safer Gambling Week 2021 hit 24.5 million, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year. Sessions on the Safer Gambling website in 2021 were 79 per cent up on the previous year.

The BGC said: “The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is delighted to support this year’s Safer Gambling Week, which aims to build on last year’s record-breaking success.”

It added: “Safer Gambling Week provides an opportunity to go even further by encouraging businesses and organisations to start a conversation, not only with staff and customers but also with their friends and family.”

It highlighted a recent Gambling Commission report that showed that the problem gambling rate in the year to March 2022 was 0.2 per cent – down from 0.4 per cent the year previous and down from 0.3 per cent in the last published annualised figures in February 2022.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “Safer Gambling Week is now an established annual event. We know that rates of problem gambling are low and are now falling, which is great news, but Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards.

“BGC members demonstrate their commitment to safer gambling every day through initiatives such as the whistle to whistle ban on TV betting commercials during live sport and strict ID and age verification checks.

“Safer Gambling Week is a great opportunity to highlight this fantastic work – and emphasises the difference between the regulated industry and the unlicensed and illegal online black market, which has none of the safeguards which are commonplace among our members.”

Miles Baron, chief executive of the Bingo Association, said: “Safer Gambling Week is an important part of the bingo industry’s commitment to social responsibility and provides a useful focal point for highlighting activity and support that is available throughout the year. As venue-based businesses, the sector recognises the important opportunity we have to promote safer gambling messages and engage directly with customers.”

John White, chief executive of Bacta, said: “Safer Gambling Week once again allows the industry to showcase its year-long commitment to safer gambling. It also brings customer focus to the tools that are available to them if they in anyway feel their gambling is becoming problematic. Those tools continue to grow as we learn more about safer gambling and form part of our ambition to cement social responsibility at the heart of our offer to the consumer.”

British associations publish safer design code for gaming machines

Earlier this month, the three major British gaming operator associations, Bacta, the Bingo Association and the BGC, finalised a joint safer design code for land-based gaming machines.

The new land-based gaming machine design code includes a ban against gaming machines showing “losses disguised as wins” in which machines use visuals or music to celebrate a player win despite the win being less than the original stake.

Work on the code began over two years ago in a Gambling Commission industry working group.

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BGC Safer Gambling Week