It is now four years since the whole gambling industry – arcades, bingo clubs, bookmakers, casinos and online – came together for the Week which has gone from strength to strength.
The aim of the Week is simple: to get as many people as possible talking about the importance of safer gambling, as well as highlighting the tools that are available to help people play responsibly and the range of help that is available if required.
Last year the challenges presented by Covid were unique. All land-based venues – bingo cubs, betting shops, casinos and arcades – were closed, preventing the opportunity for engaging face-to face with customers about safer gambling and the Week. It also meant that visibility of Safer Gambling Week on the high street was all but removed, as the usual display of posters and messaging in venue windows did not happen.
Despite these challenges, thanks to the hard work of the SG Week team, the Week still managed to have a highly successful showing. There were 170,000 visits to the Safer Gambling website (up 12% on 2019) and 19 million impressions on social media (up 19%) during the seven days. Operators reported a substantially increased number of visits (35% up on the previous month) to their own safer gambling website pages too and the number of players setting deposit limits during the week was up by 58% on the previous four-week period.
With what may be hoped as the worst of the pandemic behind us and land-based businesses open again, this year’s Week should continue to build on previous years’ success, thanks to industry wide involvement and support.
Each sector trade association has outlined a minimum commitment and is asking their members to meet the respective commitment. The Bingo Association is asking its members to display SG Week material/messaging, including the use of pull-up banners at entry point and a range of digital messaging in venues, on promotional screens, machine top boxes and electronic terminals. Leaflets and business cards are also available but thought regarding how these are distributed and used will be needed in light of Covid. In addition to this, operators are being asked to promote the Week and messaging on social media and website home pages.
These are all minimum commitments, so operators are encouraged to do as much as they can – especially on social media – to promote the campaign and SG messaging, which signposts people to a wide range of free and confidential support.
Safer Gambling Week is a great opportunity to promote SG messaging, encouraging people to find out more and highlighting the information and resources that are available throughout the year. The industry actively promotes safer gambling 365 days a year, working with customers, and providing tools such as deposit limits, time-outs and self-exclusion, to help people stay in control.
Principle campaign briefings are circulated by gambling related trade associations and sent direct to individual registered users of the SG Week website.
For further information and to access resources visit www.safergamblinguk.org You can register for access to the free SG Week material online.