BGC Launches Festive Safer Gambling Campaign

The Betting and Gaming Council has launched a new campaign aimed at safer gambling during the festive season. The multimedia ‘Limits are Good’ campaign is targeted at young men who might ‘overindulge’ while gambling over Christmas, and encourages gamblers to set limits on their play.

A man and a woman sit on a sofa celebrating Christmas, with decorated trees in the background and colorful confetti falling down.

The BGC’s ‘Limits are Good’ campaign aims to remind young gamblers to set limits this Christmas. ©Thanakorn Phanthura/Pexels

Limits are Good

The new ‘Limits are Good’ campaign is the latest in a set of initiatives spearheaded by the BGC this year. It consists of a series of ’20-second digital films and associated content’. The campaign has been tailored to target a demographic that has been shown to be particularly prone to problem gambling; Men aged between 18 and 34. The campaign promotes the use of online tools that let gamblers set limits on their activity. Videos from the ‘Limits are Good’ Campaign can now be watched on YouTube, and will be rolled out across online operator channels and retail locations soon. While the shorts are quirky and humorous, the message that the BGC wants to communicate is a serious one. Namely, that control is fundamental to enjoy gambling.

“Limit your spend, limit your time – the tools are available online”

Brigid Simmonds, the BGC’s chairman explains why limits are vital for safe and fun gambling. “We set limits on what we do every day and betting and gaming should be no different. Over the festive period with so many important sporting events, if people wish to have a bet it’s important not to lose track of how long you spend or the amount you have staked”.

Self-imposing limits is not an easy task though. It is well known that gambling can become compulsive for some and fighting that temptation alone is not always possible. To this end, the BGC recommends that gamblers make use of the many online tools that have been developed for this purpose. Most licensed online casinos offer their customers the option to self-exclude from placing bets or gambling for a set period of time. Many sites have signed up to self-exclusion schemes such as GamStop and GamCare.

” Tools are available online and in betting shops and casinos to help you set your time and spend limits and we encourage everyone to use these. For those worried about their betting or gaming, there is the option to self-exclude from gambling entirely and support is available throughout the festive period from the National Gambling helpline 0808 8020 133″

The BGC’s new campaign further emphasizes the safer gambling commitments it launched with earlier this year. These commitments consist of five distinct pledges, which industry officials have agreed to adhere to. Examples of some of the pledges are to ‘increase support for treatment of gambling harm’ and to ‘strengthen and expand codes of practice for advertising and marketing’.

The Betting and Gaming Council is a relatively new industry association, having only launched in November of this year. The BGC represents approximately 90% of the betting and gaming market in the UK. The BGC’s mission is to “ensure an enjoyable, fair and safe betting and gaming experience for all customers”.

Changing Gambling Behavior

The ‘Limits are Good’ Campaign acts on the advice of research carried out by the Senet Group. Senet is an independent and not for profit body that focuses on promoting responsible gambling. It was formed by a group of the UK’s top gambling firms, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill, in order to address concerns raised by the public about gambling standards. It supports the work of UK industry regulator, the Gambling Commission.

In February, the Senet Group published a research paper about gambling behaviors, called “In control: How to support safer gambling using a behaviour change approach”. The research suggests that a “behavior change” approach is the best way to tackle gambling harms. This approach is composed of three simple steps for affecting change. Firstly, a call for action is needed, stating what behavior should be changed. In this case, the call to action is to set limits on gambling activity. The next step is to state the benefits of changing behavior. The BGC’s video shorts highlight in a humorous way why limits are important in everyday life. Finally, the third step is explaining how to change behavior. The BGC recommends the use of online tools, which allow gamblers to impose their own gambling limits.

“This campaign draws on real-life gambling behaviours to promote tools which help gamblers stay within self-determined limits. Our behavioural research identified that most gamblers maintain a range of informal strategies to maintain control of their gambling. By formalising limit-setting tools, operators can do more to empower their customers to gamble safely”Gillian Wilmot, Chairman, Senet Group

The campaign will be carefully monitored, to measure its effect on gambling behaviors. A measurement framework has been devised for this purpose, detailing three metrics. These are as follows: “Number of deposit limits set on average pre and post-campaign, visitors to deposit limit pages online and in-app, and soft media measurements”. The results of the campaign are due to be published in approximately six months after it is evaluated.

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