As the second lockdown in England gets underway, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has reaffirmed its commitment to a 10-point pledge aimed at protecting both staff and customers.
The pledge, which was first outlined in March during the first UK-wide lockdown, outlines the standards expected of BGC members. It followed concerns that the closure of betting shops and casinos could lead to a rise in problem gambling online
“Our members did not hesitate to sign up to our 10-pledge action plan in March and I am delighted that they have done so again as we, regrettably, go back into some form of lockdown, admittedly with far fewer restrictions this time,” explained Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive.
“Nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of our staff and customers, and these pledges make very clear the standards expected of our members in the coming weeks.
“This is further evidence of our commitment, ahead of the Government’s Review, to driving up standards across our industry, as well as our members’ strong support to supporting the national effort to defeat COVID-19.”
Following the introduction of a second lockdown yesterday, BGC members have once again signed up to the 10 pledges, which include an increase in safer gambling messages, the active promotion of deposit limits and welfare checks for staff.
This is alongside a commitment made earlier this year which stated that at least 20% of all TV and radio advertisements should be safer gambling messages.
Launched back in April, at the time Dugher emphasised that there is a ‘balance’ to be achieved between advertising and responsibility, and so BGC members will ‘continue to abide by the stringent measures which are already put in place by advertising standards watchdogs’.
The BGC pledges in full are:
- Increase safer gambling messages across all sites and direct to all customers.
- Step up interventions if customers increase time and spend beyond normal pre-crisis patterns.
- Actively promote deposit limits.
- Action to ensure appropriate and responsible advertising including monitoring volume.
- Report all illegal, rogue advertising from black market online operators.
- One-strike-and-you’re-out policy where affiliates breach pledges.
- Signpost help to Gamcare and the National Gambling Helpline and Gamstop for self-exclusion.
- Ongoing commitment to ensuring funding for research education and treatment.
- Welfare checks and well-being help for staff.
- Supporting the government’s ‘National Effort’ with volunteers and facilities.