Gambling

Safer Gambling Week Starts Amid UK Pandemic Lockdown

Gambling organizations and soccer clubs are involved in Safer Gambling Week, which started across the UK and Ireland on November 19. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

More responsible gambling

Safer Gambling Week started on November 19 in the UK and Ireland, lasting until November 25. This industry-led campaign aims to encourage conversations about the importance of safe gambling and comes at a time when the UK is in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) tweeted out to acknowledge the beginning of Safer Gambling Week:

The campaign also looks to raise awareness about the different tools that gamblers can use to protect themselves, such as deposit limits and session time limits, as well as the extensive resources and support available to help people who may have gambling-related issues. 

This is the fourth year for Safer Gambling Week, organized by the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), British Amusement Catering Trade Association (bacta), and The Bingo Association. The Irish Bookmakers Association and its members are also taking part in the initiative. Gambling-related charities Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and GamCare play a key role each year in the campaign. 

Going digital

Because of the ongoing pandemic lockdown in the UK, there is a heavy focus on the digital aspects of Safer Gambling Week. GamCare is conducting online training sessions during the week for businesses and YGAM is offering digital workshops for teachers and those who work with young people. There will also be work done with soccer clubs and the National Union for Students.

UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston both publicly welcomed the start of the 2020 campaign.

ongoing commitment to safer gambling “not for one week, but for all year round”

In a statement, BGC CEO Michael Dugher reiterated that the gambling industry has an ongoing commitment to safer gambling “not for one week, but for all year round.” He spoke about how the efforts to raise awareness will not be diminished by the continuing lockdowns across the UK. 

Dugher went on to highlight some of the safer gambling strides that the BGC has made this past year, including new age and ID verification checks, encouraging deposit limits, and significantly increasing funding to the education, research, and treatment of problem gambling. 

Soccer teams contributing

All of the 72 English Football League clubs will be promoting Safer Gambling Week this week. The Football Index platform has donated its shirt sponsorship positions for Queens Park Rangers (QPR) and Nottingham Forest soccer teams this week. Both clubs will be wearing special edition jerseys showcasing the YGAM logo to mark Safer Gambling Week. 

Other teams will showcase safe gambling messages on LED screens at their stadiums on match day, as well as during the week via their various social channels and websites.

In addition to soccer teams, the Racecourse Association and individual racecourses will be contributing to the campaign. Gambling operators will engage with their customers across various social media channels. 

 

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