An important seven days lies ahead of us as Safer Gambling Week runs from the 19th to 25th of November. This is a campaign that is being led by the Betting and Gaming Council, The Bingo Association and Bacta.
Help is also being given by the Irish Bookmakers Association and its members. All of the groups aim to put across the important message ‘Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling.’
It’s not just bookmakers who are leading the campaign which is in its fourth year and run by the owners of amusement arcades and bingo clubs are also taking part. Important issues that will be discussed include:
- How to gamble more safely.
- The tools that are available to help people gamble safely all year round.
- Sources of more advice and support.
There is already a good amount of information about gambling safely at venues and websites. During Safer Gambling Week, this will intensify with more materials and information being available, including where to go to get further advice and support if you feel gambling is causing you problems.
The materials will include important areas such as:
Questions you can ask about your gambling behaviour.
- Five key behaviours of safer gambling.
- Where to go to get further information on the subject.
- Details of what is taking place during Safer Gambling Week, including websites and social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - @SGWeek20.
Online gambling sites will play an important part in promoting Safter Gambling Week. You will be able to see banner ads and pop-ups. They will also be including details on their social media.
Also giving help and information will be key support organisations such as GamCare, YGAM and the National Gambling Helpline. Online training sessions and digital workshops will be held. YGAM will be working closely with organisations such as the National Union for Students and football clubs. The clubs, the Racecourse Association and course such as Ascot will also be helping.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston is pleased to see that the gambling industry “is coming together to recognise the importance of clear and consistent safer gambling messaging and to help those who need it find support.
Deborah Roll is the Campaign Director of Safer Gambling Week and is delighted with the amount of support the gambling industry and the government is giving the campaign. Speaking about Safer Gambling Week, she commented that there are 30 million people in the UK who take part in gambling and added :
“The vast majority do so safely and enjoyably. However, we must provide support for those who struggle."
The campaign director spoke of the many support networks and resources that are available. She stressed that some of them were created by people who have gone through this problem themselves and “better understand the risks and the wider impact it can have on people’s lives.”
Her hope is that this week will see more awareness made of the problem and the help that can be received, helping to “create a safer gambling environment.”
There will also be the first Safer Gambling Forum. This will give the gambling industry the opportunity to share knowledge and best practices about the work they carry out throughout the year. Michael Dugher is the CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council and his message is:
“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.”
He added that “one problem gambler is one too many, which is why we are delighted to support Safer Gambling Week. The past year has seen the BGC make “huge strides.” This has included ensuring that a fifth of all TV and radio betting advertising include a safer gambling message. A cooling off period on gaming machines has been introduced, the encouragement of deposit limits, new ID and age verification checks and increased funding for research, education and treatment.”
Their CEO realises there is a lot more work to be done. “We are eager to go further – and look forward to working with the Government on the Gambling Review to introduce further changes that ensure that the millions of people who enjoy an occasional flutter do so enjoyably and safely.”
The Safer Gambling Week Website : http://www.safergamblingweek.org/
The Betting and Gaming Council : https://bettingandgamingcouncil.com/
Gamble Aware : https://about.gambleaware.org/
Gamcare : https://www.gamcare.org.uk
Telephone Numbers :
The National Gambling Helpline is 0808 8020 133.