To mark Safer Gambling Week, high-profile UK bookmakers such as Betfred and Betway have increased the emphasis on responsible betting in their marketing and communications.
In the case of the former, the Warrington-based operator has launched a series of adverts around safer gambling, specifically highlighting the tools it offers to help customers stay in control of their betting behaviour.
The four adverts, produced by the firm’s creative agency Zút, revolve around the question ‘How Do You Keep It Fun?’. The ads feature Betfred customers discussing personal limits, game session time limits and being aware of the frequency of their betting.
Zút Owner and Managing Director Mark Hancock said: “We have worked extensively in the betting and gaming sector for several years and have a long-standing relationship with Betfred. In this time, we have developed a deep understanding of the importance of safer gambling.
“As an agency producing TV adverts for the sector there was a thirst from our team to make these adverts market-leading. We understand how important this messaging is for Betfred and their many customers who enjoy a bet as their hobby or form of entertainment.
“Millions of people across the UK enjoy a bet and the vast majority do so safely and responsibly. We wanted to devise a ‘show don’t tell’ approach that featured real punters enjoying a bet, positioning them as positive role models.
By using real Betfred customers in ads, which were filmed on location in Manchester city centre, the operator stressed that the campaign marks a move away from a ‘traditional emphasis on promoting only formal safer gambling tools’.
This year’s Safer Gambling Week comes against the backdrop of the Gambling Act review White Paper, published in April. The White Paper has laid out several recommendations for gambling reform, particularly around player protection, which are currently the subject of UK Gambling Commission and DCMS consultations.
Betfred Chief Executive Joanne Whittaker remarked: “Safer Gambling is at the very heart of our business and these new adverts are of huge importance to Betfred.
“Zút were the perfect partner to produce the adverts as they clearly understood what we wanted to achieve and shared a desire to make these adverts industry leading.”
Meanwhile, Betway’s primary sports club partner, West Ham United, has released a statement asserting that the Premier League team is committed to “supporting Safer Gambling Week 2023 alongside our partners Betway”.
The East London club provides details to its followers on how they can get involved in safer gambling, as well as promoting the available tools of deposit limits, session reminders, self-exclusions and ‘know yourself’ quizzes.
Lastly, West Ham has also mentioned support and treatment services, signposting links to charities such as GambleAware and GamCare’s National Gambling Helpline, whilst also noting the potential use of the GamBlock software to deny access to betting sites and software.
Betway and West Ham are long-term partners, having first signed a deal in 2015 and renewing the arrangement in 2019, and is one of the most prominent UK bookmaker deals in football.
However, any future arrangements between the two will have to adhere to the White Paper’s proposed Code of Conduct on sports sponsorships, as well as the Premier League’s forthcoming self-imposed ban on front-of-shirt branding deals between clubs and betting firms from the 2026/27 season onwards.