The recent government debate and increased media coverage regarding problem gambling, the promotion and advertising of betting and gambling services and the expansion of UK betting shops has triggered the UK gambling industry to launch a code of conduct in order to tackle issues and concerns effecting the industry and its customers.
As of March 1, the UK gambling commission will launch its Code of Conduct into action. The Code will be known as the Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection
The Code of Conduct was designed by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) and is supported by UK gambling operators. The Code will shape new practices, in order to curve and help identify problem gamblers. Special emphasis has been placed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s), a subject that has garnered much media attention in the past weeks.
The Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection introduces enforced breaks for customers on gambling machines, automatic alerts about the money and time spent, and improved training for betting shop staff. The Code will additionally give players more control and information regarding their play and consumption.
Furthermore the ABB, have added further stipulation that the Code will evolve with new technologies that will come into play with the gaming industry.
Dirk Vennix, CEO of the Association of British Bookmakers commented “We recognise growing concerns that some customers are spending too much money or too much time on gaming machines. We want to take steps to protect them. Because one problem gambler is one too many. That is why we have put together the Code, which introduces revolutionary new harm minimisation measures, the likes of which have yet to be seen anywhere in the world. The industry has come together as one to promote responsible gambling. It is united in a fierce commitment to help vulnerable people. That is why the measures that the Code introduces go above and beyond regulatory requirements
The Code has been supported by academics and gambling charities. Dr Mark Griffiths Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit, explains: “The player protection and harm minimisation measures proposed go further than anything else emanating from the UK gambling sector in the past. Some of the measures proposed are innovative and potentially world-leading and I am delighted that the ABB has taken such a proactive stance in their efforts to promote responsible gambling and minimise problem gambling.”
Dirk Hansen, CEO of Gambling charity GamCare, commented: “I welcome the ABB’s move towards offering greater protections for players, encouraging responsible play, and for raising awareness amongst betting shop customers about the help that is available for problem gambling. These new measures will not only educate players to the risks associated with gambling, but also empower individuals to get support when they need it”