Safer Gambling Week – What More Can We Do To Keep People Safe Online?
Safer Gambling Week: Those involved in the gambling industry recognise that it is a pastime that has mixed opinions and as such, want to do what they can to promote a safe gambling message and ensure that the industry keeps a good reputation. As you might expect there are different opinions on how this can be done, but one popular initiative that many of the industry now takes part in is the annual Safer Gambling Week.
What is Safer Gambling Week?
To keep gamblers safe an industry-wide initiative to promote safer gambling in the United Kingdom and Ireland is now held every year. Safer Gambling Week is a campaign spearheaded by the gambling industry aiming to create constructive discussion with customers, staff, and the general public about safer gambling.
Specifically Safer Gambling Week this year wished to improve awareness of how to gamble in safer ways. To promote the tools that are currently available to help people gamble safely throughout the year and make sure awareness is heightened of the availability and sources for help and advice with problem gambling.
Who Takes Part?
This year was an industry-wide effort by the whole of the UK and Irish gambling industry with businesses and venues from amusement arcades, bingo clubs, and bookmakers through to casinos and online gaming establishments taking part. The sector-driven event had venues and websites with teams to provide information on safer gambling providing a range of different tools and options that help manage play. The teams used Safe Gambling Week material to promote the services that provide help, support and information about safer gambling as well as where to find further advice and support.
For example, Gambling sites such as Compare.bet have safe gambling sections to ensure users receive the support they need when they need it and it is Safer Gambling Week that has helped to promote platforms making these changes to keep their users safe.
Everyone Playing Their Part in Keeping Gamblers Safe
Gambling venues promoted Safer Gambling Week before and during the event itself. Posters, leaflets and banners in both physical venues as well as online were used to encourage conversations about safer gambling. Some venues undertook special events during the week, online gambling websites also promoted the week with pop-ups and banner advertisements.
Facebook supported the event by promoting key messages and providing access to promotional material. Major organisations that provide help and support like the National Gambling Helpline, YGam and GamCare also promoted the week and provided workshops and training sessions during the week. The sessions focused on parents and those who work with young people help to increase awareness for teachers, youth workers and health care professionals. The sessions provided information that can help young people’s awareness and understanding of the risks associated with gambling. This is hoped to have helped give these professionals the ability to provide gamblers with sound advice to help them choose to gamble responsibly and where to find the tools to help them do so.
As ever, customer service staff working at gambling venues continue to be the first point of contact for those wishing to know more about safer gambling or to enquire for information on further support if they have concerns over their own gambling or the gambling of friends and family members.
What More Can We Do To Keep Gamblers Safe?
One thing that this year’s Safer Gambling Week did was bring to the front of our minds that safer gambling is a choice, but one that must be promoted well in order to make it an easy choice for gamblers to make. The campaign is keen to keep this conversation going, making sure new gamblers are aware where they can turn to for help and where they can get information on making good choices where gambling is involved is paramount if we wish to keep all gamblers safe and enjoying the hobby as it is meant to be enjoyed. All gamblers should expect at a minimum for their chosen gambling venue to adhere to UK law and have information on safer gambling and where to get help and support available to all customers and affected parties.
It is important that all gambling platforms look at how their users are performing and keep an eye on any patterns that might show someone is gambling irresponsibly. Large bets placed in sporadic patterns might mean that someone is betting beyond their needs. It is widely recognised that gambling should be a fun pastime, so if it ever becomes something that is no longer fun then it is time to stop, but vulnerable people may find this difficult and that is where it is the responsibility of the platform they’re using or the venue they’re visiting to step in and support that person in making a good decision.
One thing that should definitely be promoted is the use of safe help methods; for example, did you know that you can ask your bank to block any gambling transactions via your debit card? Whilst this may not stop all the betting you want to do it is certainly a deterrent and makes things much harder when you do get the urge to place a bet. Safer Gambling Week should look to promote all of the tools that are available and ensure that it is raising awareness of these all year and not just on the days when the week actually takes place. Perhaps online betting platforms should be made to promote this option to those that need it.
Keeping gamblers safe is something that many people have mixed opinions on, some feeling that those who have a problem with gambling should just stop and therefore we shouldn’t need to have as many campaigns as we do in order to promote responsible gambling. However, the truth is that it isn’t always possible to stop something bad for us, even when we know we should, so a helping hand along the way is usually something worthwhile offering.