Safer Gambling Week: Promoting Responsible Gaming

Safer Gambling Week, formerly known as Responsible Gambling Week, is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about safer gambling and educate the masses about tools and support protocols available for problem gamblers. The event is organised by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA), the Lotteries Council, and the Bingo Association. This cross-industry initiative takes place in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

safer gambling week logo blueThis year’s Safer Gambling Week is all set to take place from 13th November to 19th November. During that week, bookmakers will emphasise the importance of utilising safer gambling tools and encourage players to bet responsibly throughout the year. Safer Gambling Week 2024 aims for broader European coverage, and 15 European gambling associations have agreed to join the initiative. These countries include the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.

Significance of Safer Gambling Week

Safer Gambling Week 2024 will be the sixth initiative in the UK and Ireland and the third in Europe. The event breaks records yearly, sparking a global conversation about responsible betting. Safer Gambling Week 2022 was the most successful one yet, generating over 30 million impressions on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram. Furthermore, owing to the awareness raised by the event, around 200,000 players set deposit limits for themselves, 61% of whom were doing so for the first time.

According to the UKGC, the problem gambling rate between April 2022 and March 2023 was relatively low, at 0.3%. The Safer Gambling Week initiative deserves credit for this due to its efforts in promoting safe and responsible gambling. The site highlights the importance of approaching gambling safely by asking the right questions and observing behaviour. You can find different tools that you can use to gamble safely and find sources for advice and support.

safer gambling week banner - let's talk about safer gambling

Safer Gambling Week: Commitments and Initiatives

The organisers of Safer Gambling Week have several commitments they are trying to fulfil through their initiatives. These are:

Preventing Underage Gambling

With most teens having access to the internet and the increasing growth of the online gambling sector, underage gambling is a major concern. By discussing the importance of implementing new age and verification checks and tighter control on advertisements, Safer Gambling Week is determined to prevent underage gambling and safeguard children and underage individuals.

Increasing Support for Gambling Harm

Despite the problem gambling rate being consistently low for many years, stakeholders believe that “one problem gambler is one too many”. To this end, Safer Gambling Week highlights the importance of implementing a broader range of treatment services.

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Strengthening Advertising Codes of Practice

The stakeholders at Safer Gambling Week understand the concerns around sponsorship and advertising and robustly plan to discuss gambling advertisements’ content, volume, and tone.

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Protecting and Empowering Customers

One of the aims of Safer Gambling Week is to empower customers by providing them with tools and products that will encourage them to gamble safely.

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Creating a Safe Gambling Culture

The Safer Gambling Week organisers believe creating a safe gambling culture that promotes the right organisational behaviours and values is crucial. The best way to do this would be by raising awareness and training staff in safer gambling practices.

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What are Industry Stakeholders Saying?

Stakeholders from the different organisations that are part of Safer Gambling Week have shared their thoughts. According to Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, Safer Gambling Week has become an established annual event, and the team is working hard to promote safer gambling tools that are only available on regulated and licensed betting platforms. He was pleased with the low gambling rates recorded in March 2023, saying that it shows the favourable outcome of the efforts and dedication of the regulated industry.

When talking about the members of the BCG, Dugher mentioned that they encourage different initiatives like the whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting commercials and offering several tools to punters. He was pleased with their commitment to promoting responsible gambling nationwide. Dugher also expressed satisfaction with the successful publicity of the year-round commitment, which was achieved within a week. He also looks forward to Safer Gambling Week 2023 being a huge success.

The Chief Executive of BACTA, John White, said that safer gambling is one of the main aims of BACTA. The organisation is delighted to be able to make significant advances in promoting safe gambling and helping reduce the number of consumers dealing with problem gambling, which has already decreased significantly. He also mentioned that Safer Gambling Week is the ideal platform for highlighting the measures and processes available to ensure gambling remains an activity everyone enjoys.

Miles Baron, Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, revealed that the organisation has supported Safer Gambling Week since the campaign started. He believes it is important to play responsibly throughout the year, but bringing the entire gambling sector together for one week to raise awareness is a hugely positive initiative that has a great impact on gamblers.

Maarten Haijer, the Secretary General of the EGBA, also expressed delight in announcing the third edition of Safer Gambling Week in Europe. Mentioning the EGBA, he stated that its members are committed to promoting a strong culture of safe gambling across Europe. This initiative is the perfect opportunity for Europe’s gambling sector to come together and raise awareness about safer gambling.

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Support for Problem Gamblers

If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, you can get free and confidential gambling advice through different platforms. You can call the following national helplines depending on your location:

  • National Gambling Treatment Service (England, Scotland, and Wales): 0808 8020 133
  • Northern Ireland National Gambling Helpline: 08000 886 725
  • Republic of Ireland National Gambling Helpline: 1800 936 725

Many websites are available where you can seek support, advice, and information regarding problem gambling. Below are some of the most prominent platforms to refer to:

GamCare

GamCare is a website that provides information and support for anyone seeking help from problem gambling. You can contact them via call, live chat, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, forums, and chatrooms. The organisation has partnered with many casino platforms to encourage the use of self-exclusion and money management tools.

BeGambleAware

BeGambleAware is another free platform that provides information and support to those struggling with problem gambling. When you visit their website, you will be given a short quiz. Once you complete the quiz, you will receive support tailored to your specific problem.

YGAM Parent Hub

YGAM Parent Hub is aimed specifically towards parents concerned about their children’s gambling habits. The Hub provides complete knowledge and helpful resources for parents to safeguard their families.

YGAM Student Hub

YGAM Student Hub is a platform tailored to meet the needs of students struggling with problem gambling. It provides resources to university staff, and faculty members can request their team visit their facilities to provide free training and support.

GamblingCare Ireland

Gambling Care Ireland is one of the most prominent resources in Ireland as it provides access to information, tools, and resources that can help struggling individuals overcome problem gambling.

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Final Thoughts

Safer Gambling Week is one of the most influential gambling events in the UK and is now becoming popular in many parts of Europe. Backed by some of the most prominent organisations in the gambling sector, the event aims to raise awareness about safe gambling practices.

As mentioned, during the event, the stakeholders will discuss the dangers of problem gambling and emphasise the different tools available for helping customers to bet responsibly. You can also participate in Safer Gambler Week 2024 and support the cause by sharing social media posts, displaying digital materials, and circulating campaign artwork. You can directly request campaign assets on their official website by filling in their provided form.

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