Safer Gambling Week 2020 UK Ireland

Safer Gambling Week 2020: How UK and Ireland Raise Problem Gambling Awareness

Staff Writer Editorials 68

In anticipation of the upcoming Safer Gambling Week, our team at BestCasinos.com has decided to look into the new initiative and see how responsible gambling awareness stands in 2020.

This year hasn’t been easy for many of us, and the global quarantine has heightened further many tensions that we may have previously had. Safer Gambling Week is the industry’s answer to problem gambling that can potentially endanger many players.

What Is Safer Gambling Week

Safer Gambling Week is a cross-industry event which aims to promote safer gambling in Ireland and the UK. The UK-centred initiative was rebranded in June 2020, as the previous name was Responsible Gambling Week. Renowned industry organisations like The Betting and Gaming Council, the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and the Bingo Association wholeheartedly support this initiative. The UK Department of Sport, Tourism, and Heritage, along with the UKGC, have also pledged support for the event. In total, over 210 organisations stand behind this initiative.

The main goal of the Safer Gambling Week is spreading awareness and educating those involved in the industry about safer gaming. Organisations, firms, and brands from the industry are encouraged to initiate a conversation about gaming activity and problems in gaming with players and customers.

Safer Gambling Week 2020 will run from 19-25 November.

The key messages of the 2020 Week are:

  • Ask yourself… have you carried on past your spending limit?
  • Just a heads up… it’s good to set yourself limits
  • Just a heads up… it’s easy to lose track of time when gambling
  • Play smart… know when to stop
  • Remember… friends and family are more important than gambling
  • Remember… gambling is not a way to make money

All those interested in participating in the event can find artwork and promotional materials on the initiative’s official website.

The main event of the Safer Gambling Week 2020 is the EGR Virtual Summit 2020, which will take place on the 24th of November. 

The Initiative Over the Years

Responsible Gambling Week initiative is a week-long event held annually since 2017. Organisers launched the event with the aim of bringing together all independent sectors of the industry. The goal is to further promote responsibility and caution in casino gaming and betting.

For the past three years, both gambling and non-gambling organisations have shown their support for the initiative. Affiliates and gaming charities like

  • The Association of British Bookmakers
  • The Remote Gambling Association
  • The British Amusement Machine Association
  • The Bingo Association
  • The National Casino Forum

And many others have participated in bringing safe gaming closer to the players. Since it started, the event included a collection of courses, promotional materials, and banners set to push the envelope and open the channel of communication between the industry and the individuals.

So far, responsibility has been the primary concern of the national gambling regulator. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission deals with devising and administering strict guidelines that tackle fraudulent behaviour in the industry. Furthermore, it is even more focused on protecting the players – especially those who are the most vulnerable.

Safety in the Industry

The UKGC is not the only association that keeps an eye on the market. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Game Regulation and Assurance), the RGA (Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and many others work together to create a more guarded environment for gamers online.

Another important part of the bigger picture is the National Online Self Exclusion Scheme Limited. Players know it as GAMSTOP, a non-profit organisation which allows punters to put restrictions to their gaming by themselves. RGA set it up to help customers who live in the UK place boundaries and stay within them.

To activate GAMSTOP, players need only visit the website and apply for self-exclusion, which will prevent them from visiting gambling websites registered with GAMSTOP. All British-licensed operators are part of the organisation. Every player can choose how long the exclusion period will last. The minimum is 6 months, while the longest is five years. However, it doesn’t automatically stop when the set time limit is over. Players need to return to the website and voluntarily remove the self-exclusion.

Software providers like Microgaming have been working with these associations for years. The relationship gaming companies have with such organisations shows how important transparency and fair play are for this sector. Developers who are not dedicated to safety and responsibility in gambling cannot join or remain in the UK market for too long. Gambling must be tightly regulated because it involves a lot of risks. If there were no risks involved, we wouldn’t consider it gambling, isn’t that right?

The Importance of Responsible Gaming

As the national regulator of all digital gambling in the UK, the UKGC is tasked with overseeing all activity in the industry. That includes not only operators and players, but also software development companies that stand behind the games.

As always, the UKGC supports any kind of activity and initiative that could help in preventing or alleviating problems with gambling. In the past few years, the UKGC has issued a number of laws and rules which licensees like providers and operators must follow. One of the most severe was the ban on credit cards, which prevents UK players from using credit cards for gambling payments. There was also a ban of VIP loyalty programmes in Great Britain, which means players will no longer have VIP perks in their casinos.

You can keep track of all new regulations and rules which the UKGC imposed straight with BestCasinos.com.

Is 2020 a Tough Year for Online Gambling?

Gambling is an addictive hobby that requires a lot of caution from the customers. However, the Covid-19 virus outbreak intensified the dangers of careless gambling. Many players were stuck at home, with more time to spare, which meant one thing – they were more likely to turn to online gambling.

In terms of productivity, the industry has been as efficient as ever. Companies have launched numerous games, and operators have accepted more players than ever. But here lies the question – was 2020 a potentially dangerous year for online gamblers?

The question is difficult to answer, especially as the pandemic hasn’t ended yet. Nevertheless, perhaps now is the time to stress that now, more than ever, responsibility in gaming is paramount.

And that is a message that all players need to have in mind today, tomorrow – and long after the pandemic ends.

Have fun, and please play responsibly.

ABOUT THE BEST CASINOS TEAM

Best Casinos team consists of online casino experts dedicated to spreading their knowledge and experience to a wider audience, all in effort to help even the most inexperienced players gain their footing in this exciting industry.

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