According to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), there was an increase in the number of players who used safer gambling measures after Safer Gambling Week 2022.
The Positive Effects of Safer Gambling Week
Safer Gambling Week is a yearly collaborative effort involving the UK and Irish-regulated betting and gaming industry, which includes bookmakers, amusement arcades, bingo clubs, casinos, and online gaming operators, as well as charities and other interested parties. The main objective is to promote safe and responsible play.
The most recent Safer Gambling Week took place between 17-23 October 2022. Based on data collected by the BGC on behalf of the campaign, the week positively impacted the implementation of safer gambling measures. In fact, the BGC reported that as a result of this initiative, 200,000 sports betting accounts set up deposit limits, a 12.5% increase from the previous year’s Safer Gambling Week in October 2021.
In addition, 61% of players who set a deposit limit during Safer Gambling Week did so for the first time, and the number of players making use of reality checks, which are on-screen alerts that remind players of their playing duration, increased by 300%.
The BGC noted that these results correspond with the decrease in problem gambling rates from 0.3% in 2021 to 0.2% in 2022.
Furthermore, the BGC reported that Safer Gambling Week 2022 broke its previous social media records, generating 30 million impressions generated on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which translates into a 21% increase from October 2021.
Comments from The Chief Executive of BGC
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher stated that the revealed figures indicate that Safer Gambling Week had a significant impact and remains “an increasingly vital platform” for promoting the use of safer gambling measures in the regulated industry.
He added that millions of customers are now making use of safer gambling tools such as deposit limits and time-outs, which is an integral part of the regulated betting and gaming industry. Dugher contrasted this with the risky, unregulated and growing online gambling black market, which lacks any of the safeguards strictly enforced by BGC members.
Dugher ultimately noted that “Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards.”
Of course, there’s always the temptation for players to succumb to some of the best online slots with real money and no deposit needed – they can be rather enticing, no doubt. Yet, with the right measures in place, and the proper investment in effective tools, gambling harm can and will be mitigated.
Supporters of Safer Gambling Week
Safer Gambling Week has received support from several notable individuals, including retired football manager Harry Redknapp and former Celtic striker John Hartson. Both individuals recorded videos to share their advice with punters.
In addition, numerous senior MPs and peers from across the political spectrum have endorsed the campaign, including Damian Collins MP, who is responsible for betting and gaming in the DCMS, and Shadow DCMS Secretary Lucy Powell.
Betting In The UK
Approximately 22.5 million UK adults participate in some form of betting each month, whether purchasing a lottery ticket, playing bingo, visiting a casino, participating in online games, or placing wagers on sports such as football and horseracing.
The regulated betting and gaming industry significantly contributes to the economy, generating £7.1 billion and £ 4.2 billion in taxes and supporting 110,000 jobs.
On the other hand, the unregulated gambling black market is growing, with a doubling of users and billions of pounds being wagered. The market does not contribute to the economy or jobs and pays no taxes.
The UK government is set to unveil changes to gambling regulations. The BGC welcomes these changes, seeing them as an opportunity to promote safer gambling practices further and raise standards. However, new changes should not inadvertently drive players towards the black market, which risks player safety and contributes nothing to promoting safer gaming practices.