GamCare has launched a new code of conduct for betting businesses which is designed to simplify how information about safer gambling tools, plus the support available for anyone struggling to control their gambling, is displayed on UK websites and apps.
The national gambling support charity has consulted with Betting and Gaming Council members, as well as service users with lived experience of gambling harms, to create the code. All BGC members offering online gambling activities are expected to comply within six months.
The Industry Code for the Display of Safer Gambling Information sets out how online businesses can make information about safer gambling tools and specialist gambling support services more prominent, visible, and consistent for online customers, ensuring resources and services are clear and easy to access.
“We know that only a small proportion of people affected by gambling harms in Great Britain come forward for support each year,” stated Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare.
“By setting minimum standards for the display of safer gambling information for the online sector, we are looking to improve the consistency of information display, and reduce friction for customers so that they can readily access tools to help them manage their gambling, and to access free, specialist support whenever it might be needed.”
In light of recent participation data, as well as the ongoing national lockdown, the UK Gambling Commission has urged incumbents to be extra vigilant as people will be spending more time at home and online.
This, says the regulator, may result in individuals feeling more vulnerable as a result of the length and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic period.
Brigid Simmonds, chair of the BGC, says: “As the standards body representing the regulated betting and gaming industry, the BGC is committed to promoting safer gambling.
“A report last week from the Gambling Commission suggested that ‘problem’ and ‘at-risk’ gambling rates fell in 2020, but one gambler experiencing harm is one too many.
“Consistency of message and display is vital, so that customers who sign up to an account with any BGC member find it’s easy to view links to the National Gambling Helpline and further support, or the company’s own messaging around setting deposit limits, how to self-exclude or asking their bank to block gambling payments.
“Prominent, visible and accessible signposting displayed in a simple way will help our customers and increase use of such tools, which is why we welcome the new GamCare Code.”