The gambling industry is coming together to stage the biggest ever campaign to promote safer gambling in the UK and Ireland
Responsible Gambling Week 2019, which takes place from November 7th-November 13th, is the public face of the industry’s year-round commitment to safer gambling. More than 120,000 staff at thousands of gambling venues and online sites are taking part and this year it is also being supported by machine operators, who are opening their networks to promote responsible gambling messages, and by pubs across the country.
The campaign is led by the Industry Group For Responsible Gambling, comprised of all the gambling trade associations, and in Ireland by the Irish Bookmakers Association. The objective is to stimulate a national conversation about safer gambling, highlighting the tools, advice and help available to customers, and the initiatives being taken by operators to promote social responsibility.
A UK summit ‘Building a safer gambling industry’, hosted by ERG in association with Responsible Gambling Week, will take place on November 7th at Twickenham Rugby Stadium, bringing together leading online gaming operators, affiliates, regulators and the wider gaming community to discuss safer gambling strategies. Speakers include Tim Miller, executive director of the Gambling Commission.
During Responsible Gambling Week, staff from across the entire industry, including arcades, bingo clubs, bookmakers and casinos, will be empowered to initiate conversations with customers about safer gambling and messaging will be prominently displayed at venues. Some operators will have dedicated responsible gambling areas where experts will be available to speak to customers and others are organizing special events, including ‘take a break sessions’, and sponsored fundraising initiatives by staff. Operators will document their staff’s involvement in the campaign and have made an on-going commitment to invest in staff training, equipping them with the tools to advise customers about safer gambling.
Online websites will promote responsible gambling messages to their customers through pop-ups and banner ads. All operators will post responsible gambling content and information about advice and help for customers on their own social channels.
A new website, www.responsiblegamblinguk.org which goes lives in October, will act as an information hub, providing a comprehensive one-stop service for consumers all year round, educating them about all aspects of responsible gambling. Operators can also download assets and resources from the website to use during Responsible Gambling Week.
The responsible gambling information hub has been developed in conjunction with campaign partner GamCare, and the charity is running training courses during Responsible Gambling Week in London, Glasgow, Sunderland and Bath for professionals working with young people. The National Gambling helpline, 0808 8020 133, run by GamCare, helps anyone who has a problem with their gambling, or has been affected by gambling, and is being extended into a 24-hour service from the beginning of October.
Other key supporters of Responsible Gambling Week include:
- Punch Pubs and Co, which will offer promotional kits, including posters and beer mats with responsible gambling messages across its portfolio of 1,300 pubs
- The English Football League and sponsors SkyBet, who are offering advertising space at football grounds across the country and in matchday programmes; gambling operators, including Kindred and Betway, who sponsor Premier League, EFL and Scottish Premier League clubs, which will display responsible gambling messages on their team kit; Paddy Power Betfair, who are donating advertising space and providing sponsorship assets
- The Racecourse Association and the British Horseracing Authority, which will display responsible gambling messages at racecourses across the UK during Responsible Gambling Week
- Machine manufacturers, Astra Games, Scientific Gaming, Reflex and Inspired Gaming, who will be communicating responsible gambling messages through their network of gaming machines
Last year, the #RGWeek18 hashtag generated nearly 20 million impressions and safer gambling content is already being posted on Responsible Gambling Week social channels: Twitter: @RGWeek19; Facebook: facebook.com/RGweek19; and, for the first time on Instagram: Instagram.com/rgweek19.
John Hagan, chairman of the IGRG, said:
“We are confident that Responsible Gambling Week, now in its third year, will be our biggest campaign yet, but this is not just about one week in the year, it is about promoting safer gambling all year round. We want to make this an open and inclusive conversation, connecting with the widest possible audience, including those who do not think messages about responsible gambling are aimed at them. We want to take the message about safer gambling even further this year, through our own social channels, with the support of our partners inside the industry and beyond”.
Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said:
“The week’s strapline, ‘Let’s talk about safer gambling’, is an important message not only for customers but also for the staff and industry leaders whose role is to look out for their customers. It provides an opportunity for people across the gambling industry, no matter what their role is, to focus on what part they can play to make gambling safer and reduce gambling harms”.
Anna Hemmings, chief executive of GamCare, said:
“Safer gambling is a key priority for GamCare, and we are pleased to support initiatives that promote and extend safer gambling messaging, such as RG Week. In particular, we are delighted to be offering training to youth-facing professionals through our national youth education programme: BigDeal. This focusses on delivering education to young people directly, as well as the youth workforce to promote more informed choices about gambling behavior and an understanding of the potential for harm. As usual, if anyone has any concerns about their gambling, they will be able to get in touch with us at any time for help and support via the National Gambling Helpline.”