Safer Gambling Week in the UK and Ireland
The Safer Gambling Week initiative is designed to promote responsible gambling among the UK and the Irish public. The event is organised by the Betting and Gaming Council, Bacta, the Lotteries Council, and the Bingo Association. It’s run annually, and in 2022, it is scheduled to take place between 17-23 October 2022.
The organisers of the Safer Gambling Week consider this an excellent opportunity to educate players about the best responsible gambling practices. The campaign aims to reach players’ online gambling sites and land-based venues.
What Does the Campaign Have in Store?
The goal of the Safer Gambling Week initiative is to provide both players and non-players with enough knowledge to understand what healthy and unhealthy gambling behaviour is. On the Safer Gambling Week website, you will find many resources concerning many different topics on the matter. In this article, we will present the most important points.
Responsible Gambling Tools
Online gambling sites are required by law to provide customers with responsible gambling tools. These include a wide range of different actions that players can take to reduce the impact of their gambling behaviour. Here are some of the most commonly used tools promoted during the Safer Gambling Week:
- Deposit Limits
- Betting Limits
- Self-Exclusion from Gambling
- Block Payments to Gambling Sites
- Block Gambling Sites
This is a short list, but its measures are quite effective. Each of them has a specific effect, and some might work better than others, depending on the individual. As you can tell, there is a progression in the severity of these actions.
We start with simple deposit limits, where you can instruct the operator not to accept any payment above a fixed sum. If that’s not doing it for you, you can also set specific betting limits on your account. As a more aggressive measure, you can request full self-exclusion from a given gambling site. These three options can be requested from any licensed UK gambling site. The operators are obligated to respect players’ decisions in this matter.
If that’s not enough, you can take even more extreme measures. Specifically, we are talking about blocking payments to gambling sites or blocking gambling sites completely. Many banks and payment processing companies have options which allow you to block payments to gambling platforms.
But if you wish to remove access to gambling sites completely, you need to download the appropriate software. Third-party apps, such as Gamban or BetBlocker can be used for this purpose. They will prevent you from loading any known online gambling platform.
Gambling Therapy and Treatment
Apart from promoting gambling striction tools, another Safer Gambling Week initiative is to provide easy access to problem gambling therapy. On Safer Gambling Week’s website, you will find suggestions on maintaining a healthy gambling approach.
Aside from that, you will also find a broad list of symptoms indicative of a gambling problem. We suggest you carefully read through the listed symptoms so that you don’t earn a spot on our list of gambling addiction horror stories. Here is what the experts consider symptoms of problem gambling and some solutions:
|👍 Do’s||👎 Don’ts|
|☑ Set gambling limits for yourself||❌ Spending more money on gambling than you can afford|
|☑ It’s good to take breaks from gambling||❌ Difficulty in stopping gambling|
|☑ Friends and family are more important than gambling||❌ Harming relationships because of gambling|
|☑ Don’t gamble more than you can lose||❌ Chasing gambling losses|
|☑ Gambling is not a way to make money||❌ Borrowing money to continue gambling|
|☑ Consider talking to a professional||❌ Need to gamble more to feel good|
These are only a few symptoms from a much longer list. Gambling addiction is a terrible sickness, affecting tens of thousands in the UK and Ireland. If you recognise any of these behaviours, Safer Gambling Week suggests that you contact the appropriate therapy organisations to seek help. Stick to the Do’s and always remember to play responsibly and think about yourself and the people who love you.
If you need gambling therapy, there are numerous organisations you can reach to get assistance. These are available in the UK, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. The institutions have published phone numbers that you can call to talk to a therapist whenever the need arises. Some work 24/7, while others have specified working hours.
If you ever feel like your gambling is going out of control, please call one of the listed therapy organisations. It costs you nothing, and it may save you from a lot of trouble down the line if you let problem gambling go untreated.
|🏛 Therapy Organisation||🗺 Country||📞 Phone Number|
|National Gambling Treatment Service||UK & Northern Ireland||0808 8020 133|
|GamCare||UK||0808 8020 133|
|Northern Ireland National Helpline||Northern Ireland||08000 886 725|
|Support for Young People||UK & Northern Ireland||0808 8020 133|
|National Helpline||Republic of Ireland||1800 936 725|
|Helplink National Gambling Addiction Service||Republic of Ireland||0818 99 88 80|
|Gambling Care||Republic of Ireland||1800 936 725|
It’s always a good idea to reach out for help before things get out of hand. Currently, there is a great emphasis on supporting problem gamblers, with multiple helplines available daily.
Safer Gambling Week Event: Results and Public Perception
So, the question on everyone’s mind right now is whether this whole thing works or not. All in all, the results indicate that people are listening to the message. During the previous year’s event, millions of people responded on social media, somewhere between a 15-19% increase from 2020’s campaign. Several high-profile celebrities were featured, which is also bound to turn some heads, and it’s expected that this year there will be even more emphasis on celebrity participation.
Most noticeable was the uptake in using responsible gambling tools during the Safer Gambling Week in the UK and Ireland. Somewhere up to 15%, more players placed some form of restrictions on their gambling activities.
Also telling of the success of Safer Gambling Week is the rate of problem gambling in the UK. The Gambling Commission reports a decrease in gambling addiction from 0.6% to 0.3% of the total population, which is significant. It’s unclear whether this can be attributed to the Safer Gambling Week efforts, but it no doubt played a part.
If you have any questions about the initiative of Safer Gambling Week in Ireland and the UK, check out the FAQ section below. We have included the most common queries, along with quick and informative answers.