UK Betting and Gaming Council in 10 Step Covid-19 Pledge
by Glenn Baird - March 30, 2020
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK has announced a pledge contain 10 steps that all its members have agreed to adhere to in during the Covid-19 crisis.
The BGC is made up of members that represent over 90% of the UK gambling market (not including lotteries). The Council met last week to discuss the impact of the pandemic on UK businesses and consumers and came up with a series of self-imposed rules in an attempt to ensure that no-one seeks to profit from the potential for increased online gambling activity in the UK.
The message from the UK Gambling Commission is clear, that vulnerable customers must be monitored closely and that there must be no attempt from any outlet in the UK to use the pandemic as a marketing ploy.
1. Increase safer gambling messages across all sites and direct to all customers
2. Step up interventions if customers increase time and spend beyond normal pre-crisis patterns
3. Actively promote deposit limits
4. Action to ensure appropriate and responsible advertising including monitoring volume
5. Report all illegal, rogue advertising from black market online operators
6. One-strike-and-you’re-out policy where affiliates breach pledges
7. Signpost help to GAMCARE and the National Gambling Helpline and GamStop for self-exclusion
8. Commitment to ensuring funding for Research Education and Treatment (RET)
9. Welfare checks and well-being help for staff
10. Supporting the Government’s ‘National Effort’ with volunteers and facilities
Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive, had this to say about the pledge:
“In this time of national crisis, with so many people self-isolating and social distancing at home, it is vital that we do everything possible to ensure safer gambling and to protect potentially vulnerable or at risk people.
“We all know that levels of gambling have plummeted not just because of betting shop or casino closures, but because of the absence of sport, which is also fundamental to online betting. Although gambling levels have dropped during the COVID crisis, our commitment to safer gambling is being stepped up. It is important that we help our customers stay safe and in control of their gambling during these difficult times. That’s why BGC members have developed a 10 pledge action plan that will help govern members throughout this crisis.
“Increasing safer gambling measures with more monitoring and customer interventions, stepping up safer gambling messages and measures like promoting deposit limits, together with a tough crackdown on affiliates and calling out rogue black-market operators, will make a big difference. We are also signposting professional help and are committed to funding Research, Education and Treatment (RET).
“The betting industry supports tens of thousands of jobs up and down the country, and we are equally determined to support the Government’s National Effort through helping with volunteers and facilities”.