UK Safer Gambling Week 2022 gets underway

UK Safer Gambling Week is now in its fifth year.
UK Safer Gambling Week is now in its fifth year.

The industry’s Safer Gambling Week 2022 will run until Sunday.

UK.- The UK’s Safer Gambling Week 2022 began yesterday (Monday), with gambling operators promoting the takeup of tools to reduce gambling harm. Supported by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the gaming arcade association Bacta, the Lotteries Council and Bingo Association, the initiative is now in its fifth year.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher said that the initiative was an opportunity to show off how the regulated gaming industry was promoting responsible gambling.

He said: “We know that at 0.2 per cent, rates of problem gambling have fallen and are low by international comparisons, which is welcome news, but Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards.

“Safer Gambling Week is about showcasing safer gambling tools – like timeouts and deposit limits – that exist in the regulated industry to ensure that the millions of people who enjoy a regular flutter continue to do so in a safe and responsible environment.

“It’s also, most crucially, about signposting the professional advice, support and help that is out there for anyone who may be struggling with gambling.”

BGC chair Brigid Simmons said in a video posted to social media the week’s aims needed to be addressed all year.

She said: “Safer gambling is, of course, for all year round. But very good to have a focus where we encourage our customers and indeed our members to think about safer gambling, how we can encourage people to take up the tools that are available. So think about safer gambling. Think about deposit limits.”

Bacta CEO John White 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 any way 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.”

Government support for Safer Gambling Week

The government also highlighted the initiative. Damian Collins, DCMS parliamentary under-secretary, said: “We support the industry coming together to champion safer gambling and highlight the resources available to help reduce harmful gambling. We are working quickly to finalise details of a gambling white paper to make sure the rules governing the industry are fit for the digital age.”

Lucy Powell, shadow secretary of state for DCMS, said: “The campaign is an important initiative to promote gambling awareness and to prevent problem gambling. I welcome gambling companies taking more responsibility for this and for supporting Safer Gambling.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Rhodes, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said that the week brings the focus to customer protection.

“Any opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the importance of gambling safely and securely is important,” said Rhodes.

“Safer Gambling Week provides that platform but also gives an additional chance for operators to collaborate and share best practice around how they protect their customers. The safety of customers should be at the heart of each and every decision operators make.”

Kindred Group is using its football sponsorship space to promote its safer gambling efforts during Safer Gambling Week. It will replace the Unibet logos on its front-of-shirt sponsorship of the English Championship’s Middlesbrough and the Scottish Premiership’s Rangers during the week-long initiative.

The shirts don’t actually promote Safer Gambling Week itself but Kindred’s own Zero % Mission, through which it aims to generate 0 per cent of its revenue from harmful gambling by the end of next year. The operator’s latest data show that the figure is currently at 3.3 per cent.

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