BGC introduces ‘cooling-off’ measures to UK betting shops

In a bid to support its ongoing commitment to responsible gambling, the newly-formed Betting and Gaming Council has developed a new ‘cooling-off’ feature for gaming terminals, which is due to be introduced across UK betting shops.

The Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS), which has been developed over the last two years, has been designed to identify signs of  potentially harmful gambling behaviour. The real-time algorithm will trigger an alert on-screen and force a break in play or ‘cooling-off period’, simultaneously alerting staff. 

Interim Chief Executive Wes Himes commented: “I see this as an opportunity to champion the highest standards and share best practice on safe betting and gaming, and we hope these new measures are a sign of intent. I’m convinced that this approach can help restore public trust, and I look forward to working on further safer betting and gaming initiatives across our industry.”

The introduction of the ‘cooling-off’ periods is set to bolster the current offering of tools already in place on betting shop gaming machines, such as time and stake limit setting and responsible gambling messaging on screens.

Betting and Gaming Council Chairman Brigid Simmonds OBE explained: “I am delighted to launch these new measures today as part of Responsible Gambling Week. The Betting and Gaming Council has as its mission statement raising standards and this technology will create an environment that promotes safer play.”

The BGC also announced last week that £10m of funding would be provided for a national education programme designed and delivered by the charities GamCare and YGam for children and young people over the next four years.

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