Minister and Gambling Commission support Safer Gambling Week 2020

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, and UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, have today confirmed the Department’s and Commission’s support of Safer Gambling Week 2020, the national campaign to raise awareness of safer gambling.

Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Nigel Huddleston said: “Gambling operators have a responsibility to keep customers safe from harm. I’m pleased that the industry is coming together to recognise the importance of clear and consistent safer gambling messaging and to help those who need it find support.”

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, said: “We welcome the emphasis on safer gambling and it is encouraging to see operators from all sectors collaborating to raise awareness of the need to put consumer safety at the heart of everything they do.”

Taking place from 19-25th November, Safer Gambling Week 2020 sees all partners and supporters working together to raise awareness of safer gambling, the tools that are available and where and how to access free support. The annual campaign, which began in 2017, provides a consistent and united voice to highlight safer gambling awareness, providing a focus for support and tools that are available throughout the year.

Led by trade associations the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), The Bingo Association (BA) and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (bacta), who are joined again this year by the Association of Irish Bookmakers, campaign partners and 210 Official Supporting organisations: all committed to raising awareness of safer gambling behaviours and encouraging staff, customers and the wider public to discuss what it means to gamble more safely.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive, Betting and Gaming Council, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s Safer Gambling Week. We have made huge strides at the BGC in our first year in raising standards, including a requirement that at least 20 per cent of all TV and radio betting ads are safer gambling messaging, cooling off periods on gaming machines, encouraging deposit limits, new ID and age verification checks and massively increasing funding for research, education and treatment.
“But 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.”

Miles Baron, Chief Executive, The Bingo Association, said: ”Safer Gambling Week is an important part of the bingo industry’s commitment to social responsibility and provides a useful focal point for highlighting activity and support that is available throughout the year. Despite the challenges faced by operators in the sector with physical premises, we remain committed to raising awareness of safer gambling and Safer Gambling Week.  The support from the Minister and Commission is welcomed and I am sure will encourage yet wider participation in this important campaign.”

John White, Chief Executive of bacta, said: “Safer Gambling Week gives the industry a great opportunity not only to highlight to customers the information and support that is available throughout the year and how we help ensure they gamble more safely but also for operators and staff to reassess what they do and how they do it in delivering safer ambling messages to customers and helping them find support should they need it.”

More than 100,000 staff at more than 9,000 gambling venues and online sites in the UK and Ireland will take part in Safer Gambling Week, helping to drive a national conversation. Operators promote safer gambling 365 days of the year, but Safer Gambling Week creates the opportunity for all businesses and organisations to have a conversation about safer gambling not only with their customers, but also with their staff and in turn their friends and family.

All gambling operators are committed to the campaign, taking place from 19th – 25th November and will promote consistent messages and branding in venues, online and on social media.

Several operators, suppliers and publishers have announced significant initiatives to ensure the campaign reaches the widest possible audience with a range of virtual events and training also taking place.

Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling remains the strapline of Safer Gambling Week 2020: in coming together with one voice, the campaign, through an ever increasing number and range of supporters, is able extend its reach, year on year, and build on and add to the work that operators and other organisations undertake throughout the year.

The key messages:

  • Ask yourself…  have you carried on past your spending limit?
  • Just a heads up… it’s good to set yourself limits
  • Just a heads up…  it’s easy to lose track of time when gambling
  • Play smart…  know when to stop
  • Remember…  friends and family are more important than gambling
  • Remember…  gambling is not a way to make money

Organisations seeking information on Safer Gambling Week 2020 (SGWeek20), or how to become a registered supporter, should visit the Safer Gambling Week web site (www.safergamblingweek.org) or the Safer Gambling web site (www.safergamblinguk.org). The websites are key information points for Safer Gambling resources and information and for Safer Gambling Week 2020.

Safer Gambling Week 2020 social media channels are also live: @SGWeek20 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #SGWeek20.