There is no doubt that the world loves gambling. It is a form of entertainment that has existed for a while and shows no signs of ever fading. This is because of the inherent concept of the activity – winning money. In society’s where cash is king, the idea of taking part in an activity that gives the chance of winning money and is fun too makes the reason why gambling is popular clear to see. However, it is also an activity where people can easily get addicted to, much like smoking and taking drugs. Given the seriousness of this, people must be aware of the dangers of gambling, and how to take preventative measures so that issues like addiction never happen.
One way that the industry seeks to do this is by running Safer Gambling Week, an annual event that has been running for the last four years. This year, it begins at the start of November and it involves everyone in the industry coming together to raise awareness of the dangers of gambling addiction. Those who are sceptical of the event should be aware that it is not just an independent programme, it is backed by the BGC, the Bingo Association and the amusement machine trade association.
The implementation of programmes such as these has been shown to have beneficial effects. For example, a Gambling Commission report last week showed that the rate of problem gambling this year up to September was down by 0.3%, which is admittedly not a lot. However, the fact that is on the decline shows that the previous three years of Safer Gambling Week has had somewhat of an effect. It is interesting to see that the rate of gamblers classed as being at ‘moderate risk’ also fell, this time by 0.5%.
Despite these positive impacts, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council Michael Dugher is determined to keep going in a bid to raise the industry’s standards. He said, “Safer Gambling Week is now an established annual event. We know that rates of problem gambling are low and are now falling, which is great news, but Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards”. This kind of conviction is great to see from the industry, which has had an unfortunate history when it comes to addiction. The fact that it is taken clear and measurable action is hopeful of the future of the history, and all at-risk players.
Regarding this year’s event, Safer Gambling Week will see several safer gambling messages pop up in physical as well as online gambling venues to make sure all types of players are informed in a growing digital age. There is no doubt that online casinos have proven a popular form of gambling, and there are always more options for casino games to find on the web. Safer Gambling Week will also encourage staff and customers to raise awareness of the issues that plague many people who choose to gamble.
It is clear that Safer Gambling Week is a great initiative by the industry to raise awareness of problem gambling, and supporters of it can only hope it is a mainstay for years to come.