The Chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) says that she’s delighted with the outcomes of this year’s Safer Gambling Week.
Brigid Simmonds acknowledges that 2020 has presented some “difficult circumstances” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many casinos, bingo halls, and betting shops across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to close and reopen multiple times. However, she says that although this has made it harder to get the annual campaign’s “important messages across”, the BGC and the gambling industry has successfully “managed to do it in other ways”.
2020’s Safer Gambling Week (which was rebranded from Responsible Gambling Week) ran from 19th to 25th November. It’s a UK-focused initiative that is mainly driven by the Betting and Gaming Council, the British Amusement Catering Trade Association, and the Bingo Association, with help from land-based gambling venues and betting shops, as well as online bookmakers and bingo and casino operators.
Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling
The strapline for this year’s campaign was “Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling”, and the aim was to educate people about safer gambling and promote the ongoing awareness of the highly sensitive (and often taboo) issue of gambling addiction.
Brigid Simmonds describes the 2021 campaign as “a great success” with the message being spread in multiple ways. For example, Ascot Racecourse highlighted the cause via one of its races which was renamed to the “Safer Gambling Week Novices Steeple Chase”, while many football stadiums displayed safer gambling messages around their pitches and shirt sponsors’ names were replaced with similar slogans. The BGC also got major railways stations to use their digital advertising boards to promote Safer Gambling Messages.
And while some betting shop closures meant that window posters and in-store leaflets weren’t always possible, most high-profile online bookmakers, bingo sites, and casinos helped to ensure that key messages about responsible gambling were prominently displayed to customers and used in direct email campaigns.