BGC reports increase in use of safer gambling tools after October campaign

UK gambling industry trade body Betting and Gaming Council announced Tuesday that the latest Safer Gambling Week campaign has sparked a “huge increase” in safer gambling tools use. 

Analysis of last year’s campaign, which took place in October, revealed around 200,000 accounts set deposit limits during the month, an increase of 12.5% compared to the same month the year prior. 

Meanwhile, 61% of players setting deposit limits did so for the first time. And the number of players actively using reality checks – on-screen alerts tracking how long customers are playing – rose by 300%.

Safer Gambling Week also surpassed previous social media records, generating nearly 30 million impressions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, a 21% increase compared to 2021. These latest figures come after the Gambling Commission found problem gambling rates among UK adults have fallen to 0.2%, down from 0.3% the year prior.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “These new figures show Safer Gambling Week has made a huge impact and continues to be an increasingly vital platform to successfully encourage the use of safer gambling tools in the regulated industry.”

Dugher further noted “millions” of customers now use safer gambling tools including deposit limits and timeouts, which he called “a pillar of the regulated betting and gaming industry,” in marked contrast to “the unsafe, unregulated and growing online gambling black market.”

“Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards,” he stated. “When we launched Safer Gambling Week last year, there was the usual disparagement from the usual suspects in the anti-gambling lobby who want to see less gambling not safer gambling.”

“But millions of people do enjoy a bet and even though problem gambling is very low at 0.2%, according to the latest figures, it’s important our customers continue to gamble safely and responsibly. This is where technology and the regulated industry can help,” Dugher concluded.

A core feature of the campaign was promoting and highlighting available tools which empower customers to bet more responsibly. Among the well-known sporting figures to support the campaign, which is also backed by the Government, were former football manager Harry Redknapp and former Celtic striker John Hartson, who both recorded videos sharing advice with players.

A large number of cross-party senior MPs and peers, including then DCMS minister responsible for betting and gaming Damian Collins MP, and several shadow ministers including Shadow DCMS Secretary Lucy Powell MP, gave their backing to the ground-breaking campaign, notes the BGC.

The campaign comes as the UK Government prepares to publish reforms to betting in the UK. The BGC reaffirmed it “strongly supports” the Gambling Review as a further opportunity to raise standards and promote safer gambling, but warned changes introduced “must not drive gamblers towards the growing unsafe, unregulated black market online, who do nothing to promote safer gaming.”