Regulators don’t place bets on safe gambling actions

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 5 Jun 2020, 2:37 p.m.

Responsible Gaming Week in the UK has been recently rebranded. Namely, this project is set to be replaced by the Safer Gambling Week campaign according to coordinators behind the project. The campaign will run this year, starting from 19-25 November.

Led by the BGC, The Bingo Association and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA), this year’s campaign will feature the tagline “Let’s talk about safer gambling “. As a reminder, this initiative is part of the Senet Group ’s responsibilities that were recently taken over by the BGC.

BGC on Safer Gambling discussion panel

Michael Dugher, BGC’s Chief Executive has reported that they are proud to play a leading role in this initiative. Safer gambling campaign has been present for four years now and it has achieved a significant increase in engagement rate at all levels of tools and support available to customers. He adds that they are excited to talk about the significant changes that have been introduced, including new cooling-off periods on gaming machines, increased research funding, “whistle to whistle” ban on advertising during sport and new ID verification checks.

They’ve recently published an action plan to promote safer gambling, while BGC members voluntarily agreed to remove TV and video gaming advertising. They have replaced their slots with safer gambling paroles or donations to charity. Safer Gambling Week will give operators the opportunity to start a discussion on safe gambling with customers, family and staff. Questions related to doubts, fears, future arrangements and space for improvements will be introduced and openly discussed with the public.  

Miles Baron, the Chief Executive of The Bingo Association and John White, the Chief Executive of BACTA have also expressed their excitement about this campaign moving forward. They add that Safer Gambling Week allows customers and operators to highlight their long-term commitment to this challenge, emphasizing the tools available to customers and educated staff that engage with players on a daily basis.

ASA bans ads that encourage repetitive actions  

While we discuss TV and radio advertising bans, we report on the latest happening regarding this matter. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has pulled an advertisement from Coral after the advert was labelled as irresponsive, for encouraging repeated gambling. When it comes to advertising standards and content analysis, it seems that ASA does not make compromises. Their latest actions and reviews on different advertising platforms speak for themselves.

A tweet on Coral’s profile seen in March 2020 featured a shady copy and a link to a video ad captioned with the tagline “Have another go”. Several complaints and discussions later, the ASA agreed that the content, in general, did not oblige consumers to take up for the offer and that they did not have to use additional funds to qualify for it.

However, the claim “Have another go” together with the story behind the video was labelled as content with an encouraging element, and that the decision to gamble was presented in a loose, repetitive atmosphere. For this reason, ASA concluded that this ad is potentially harmful and therefore, breached the code of conduct. Therefore, the association has made a clear announcement that the ad must not appear in its current form.