The week is designed to educate customers about the tools available to help them stay in control and includes measures to increase the number of players setting voluntary limits on gaming machines. It coincides with the launch of new machine rules (announced in November) making it compulsory for players to actively choose whether to set a limit before they start each machine session.
Across the country, Britain’s leading bookmakers will transform shop windows to encourage all customers to only bet what they can afford to lose. For those concerned about their gambling habits, they will be encouraged to access the GambleAware website where there is information on how to get immediate help. Independent operators will be supplied with materials by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB).
As part of the planned activities throughout the week, the industry has also committed to:
- Enhanced customer information. Two specific leaflets will be produced. One advertising GambleAware Week and explaining the tools available to help customers control their gambling. It will also highlight local counselling services while the second leaflet will promote how and why players should set a limit on machines.
- In-shop and online promotion. The major operators will promote the week on gantries and television screens located in shops.
The ABB and William Hill will also undertake a series of public engagement events with GamCare partners in Liverpool, Eastbourne and Brighton. Specially-designed drop-in centres will be created for the duration of the week, in addition to the counselling support available around the UK throughout the year.
GambleAware week comes just days after the four largest operators, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power, officially launched the Senet Group, an independent body established to promote responsible gambling standards and ensure that the marketing of gambling is socially responsible. And the first ever cross-operator national TV advertising campaign to promote responsible gambling and highlight the GambleAware website as an independent source of advice on problem gambling.
It also follows the publication of the Responsible Gambling Trust’s (RGT) research on gaming machines in Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) in December.
One of the key findings of the research was that gambling behaviours are complex and that there is no one measure alone that will have an impact on levels of problem gambling. It requires a mixture of interventions that must be evaluated and tested. The industry has welcomed the research and is committed to using the findings to help determine how the industry can further help those customers who may be at risk.
Paul Darling QC, Chair of the ABB, said: “GambleAware Week marks the latest step in the industry’s approach to responsible gambling. We are absolutely committed to addressing public concern and doing everything we can to better protect our customers. In recent months, we’ve made a number of changes, on the basis of evidence, to significantly improve player protection. However, we remain determined to do more and will continue to work with all interested parties in order to build on the measures already taken.”