This September, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) launches the second edition of its ‘Scroll Free September’ campaign, encouraging the UK public to ‘take a break from gambling online’.
Run as an independent health organisation, the RSPH supports UK health networks, and details that ‘Scroll Free’ has been developed to support the ongoing gambling-harm prevention initiatives developed by GambleAware’s ‘Bet Regret’ campaign, launched at the start of 2019.
Targeting men aged between 16-34, who wager regularly on sports, the ‘Bet Regret’ campaign urges UK punters to ‘think twice’ on their gambling behaviours in order to avoid impulsive behaviours.
RSPH’s Scroll Free September campaign will support the work of GambleAware, by helping vulnerable online gamblers to self-exclude by taking part in one of the five campaign plans:
- Busy Bee – Taking a break in or at work
- Sleeping Dog – Taking a break in the bedroom
- Social Butterfly – Taking a break at social events
- Night Owl – Taking a break every evening, after 6pm
- Cold Turkey – Give up completely for 30 days
Announcing the campaign, Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “Better understanding is needed of the harms arising from gambling, who is affected and what support can be provided to prevent harms from developing or escalating in the first place. Along with the establishment of the Gambling Health Alliance, by asking the public to use Scroll Free September as an opportunity to abstain from online gambling, we hope to place gambling harm further at the forefront of public health thinking and as a serious threat to our public’s health in its own right.”
Both GambleAware and RSPH enter a crucial period for the development of UK problem gambling networks, as this October sees the launch of a Gambling Health Alliance, formed by diverse organisations seeking to reduce UK problem gambling-related harms.
The new Alliance will seek to ensure that gambling and the harms which arise from this are placed on an equal footing with other major public health challenges, focussing on prevention, early intervention, and increased community engagement.
Supporting the campaign, Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “We all need to take a break from our phones every now and again, particularly now that gambling is accessible anytime and anywhere. We’re pleased to be supporting Scroll Free September and hope it will inspire people to take a moment to think about their betting habits.”