Safer Gambling Week 2023, an influential cross-industry initiative, is slated to occur from November 13 to 19 across the UK and Ireland. This annual event is a collaborative effort by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Bacta, The Lotteries Council, and The Bingo Association. It aims to spotlight the critical importance of safer gambling practices and promote tools that enable customers to maintain control over their gaming habits.
Last year, Safer Gambling Week they have demonstrated a significant impact, with 200,000 accounts setting deposit limits throughout the month, marking a 12.5% increase from the 2021 campaign. Additionally, the initiative garnered an impressive 30 million impressions across social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Michael Dugher, CEO of the BGC, emphasized the event as a testament to the industry's dedication to keeping problem gambling rates at bay. He noted, "Safer Gambling Week is now an established annual event in the industry's calendar, doing vital work promoting the safer gambling tools only available in the regulated betting and gaming sector and signposting help to those that need it." Dugher highlighted the consistently low problem gambling rates and the industry's commitment to further elevating standards.
John White, Chief Executive of Bacta, echoed these sentiments, underscoring the industry's focus on tackling gambling addiction. He remarked, "Safer Gambling is at the forefront of what Bacta members do on a daily basis." White pointed out the significant advances made in providing a safer gambling experience and the efforts to reduce the already low number of consumers facing gambling-related issues.
A noteworthy mention in this year's campaign is Microgaming's active role in supporting responsible gambling practices. Microgaming has partnered with several safer gambling charities, including Ygam, Gordon Moody, Beacon Counselling Trust, Betknowmore UK, and Motiv8 Addiction Services. The firm is engaged in identifying and supporting projects that benefit customers while providing financial backing for expanding services, creating educational content, and improving digital infrastructure.
Sarah Campbell, Director of Compliance at Microgaming, emphasized the company's commitment to safer gaming. "Safer gaming and responsible gambling is in our DNA. We take huge pride in working with and supporting a range of charities that are doing truly great work in this area. Together, we can create a safer and more responsible gambling environment for all," she stated.
Microgaming's contributions have been pivotal in several areas. Ygam has used its donation from Microgaming to expand its educational training programs for faith and community leaders. Gordon Moody has directed its funds towards a comfort fund to aid families grappling with gambling addiction. Betknowmore UK has invested in upgrading its digital infrastructure and website, focusing on safer gambling content, developing digital self-help materials, and creating interactive media materials.
Similarly, Beacon Counselling Trust has leveraged Microgaming's support to fund an animated video to aid its mental health services, including Paul's Place, its suicide bereavement service. Motiv8 Addiction Services is utilizing its funds to bolster its cost of living support for those in dire need.
Microgaming is also an active participant in Safer Gambling Week, with plans for staff training, compliance sessions, and webinars featuring gambling addiction specialists like Dr. Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University and eCOGRA. These initiatives are designed to educate and engage their staff in the principles of responsible gambling.
In summary, Safer Gambling Week 2023 is more than just a campaign; it reflects the gambling industry's ongoing commitment to responsible gambling and the well-being of its customers. Through concerted efforts, educational initiatives, and partnerships with charities, the sector aims to maintain momentum in reducing problem gambling rates and enhancing the safety and enjoyment of gambling as a form of entertainment. As the industry unites for this cause, the week is a powerful reminder of the significant strides made and the continuous journey towards a safer gambling environment.
To learn more, visit the SaferGamblingWeek website.