International edition
February 24, 2021

And a boost to industry standards

UK: BGC's Covid action plan delivers huge increase in safer gambling messages

UK: BGC's Covid action plan delivers huge increase in safer gambling messages
"These latest findings show that the BGC has led the way and is achieving real results on safer gambling," said Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC.
United Kingdom | 12/03/2020

According to data released by the Betting and Gaming Council, since the launch of the plan, the number of individual customers directly receiving safer gambling messages increased by 150 percent, the total number of direct mails with a safer gambling message soared to over 11 million a month – an increase of 89 percent, and the number of direct interventions by operators where a player has been spending more time or money betting than they did before the pandemic up by 25 percent.

T

he Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) announced that its Covid action plan has delivered a huge increase in safer gambling messages and a boost to industry standards.

According to the industry association for betting and gaming, the number of safer gambling messages displayed on the websites of betting operators has more than doubled in just six months since the launch of a Betting and Gaming Council Covid action plan.

The 10-pledge plan was unveiled at the start of the first Covid-19 lockdown in March and set out the standards expected of BGC members during the pandemic.

BGC members re-affirmed their support for the plan at the start of the second lockdown in England last month.

Top of the pledges was a commitment to increase the number of safer gambling messages on websites and directly to customers.

It has now emerged that the number of those messages has increased by more than 100 percent since the BGC pledges were introduced.

Meanwhile, the number of individual customers receiving safer gambling messages via direct mail has increased by 150 percent.

And the total number of direct mails which include a safer gambling message has soared from 6 million to over 11 million a month – an increase of 89 percent.

In addition, the number of direct interventions by operators where a player has been spending more time or money betting than they did before the pandemic has also increased by 25 percent.

The findings – to be unveiled by BGC chair Brigid Simmonds at the standards body’s AGM on Thursday – are in addition to other measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

BGC members agreed to voluntarily remove all TV and radio gaming advertising during the Covid-19 lockdown last spring, and have subsequently agreed that at least 20 percent of all TV and radio advertising should be safer gambling messages going forward.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: "The Betting and Gaming Council was set up last year as a standards body committed to driving big changes across much of the regulated industry. These latest findings show that the BGC has led the way and is achieving real results on safer gambling.

"The introduction of the ten-pledge plan at the start of lockdown was further evidence of success – and our members re-affirmed their support for the pledges when the second lockdown began.

"It shouldn’t be forgotten that around 30 million people in Britain place a bet at least once a year, whether that is on the National Lottery, in betting shops, casinos or at the bingo, and the overwhelming majority do so without any problems.

"But although the Gambling Commission has found no evidence of an increase in problem gambling during lockdown, and the Government says rates of problem gambling are around 0.7 percent and stable, we can and must do more to tackle it and protect vulnerable and at risk customers.

"That is why we are looking forward to the Government beginning its Gambling Review so we can further improve standards, whilst ensuring that customers are not driven into the arms of the offshore illegal black market where there are no standards or safeguards."

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