October 20, 2022 3 min read

Safer Gambling Week Scrutiny Infuriates Dugher

The chief executive officer of Britain’s Betting and Gaming Council, Michael Dugher, blasted Safer Gambling Week critics for calling the initiative a “cringe campaign.”

Gambling With Lives Critiqued Safer Gambling Week

Safer Gambling Week is an initiative that seeks to educate people about the dangers of gambling and teach them how to make informed decisions. The annual campaign wants to teach people how to enjoy gambling as a pastime without becoming addicted and inform them about the safer gambling tools they have at their disposal.

However, some anti-gambling activists believe Safer Gambling Week to be nothing more than a faux initiative where operators pretend to care for the people while hiding the damage they have caused. Gambling With Lives, a union of families bereaved by gambling-related suicide, is one of the main critics of the campaign. In a Politics Home article, the movement’s strategy director, Will Prochaska, called Safer Gambling Week a deceptive “cringe campaign.”

According to Prochaska, the annual initiative shifts focus from what’s really important. He slammed the campaign for allegedly shifting the focus from the products to the customers and blaming the customers for their shortcomings.

Dugher Doesn’t Understand Where Critics Are Coming From

Michael Dugher responded to Prochaska with a Politics Home post of his own. Dugher blasted Gambling With Lives for denouncing Safer Gambling Week, saying that even people who oppose gambling should know that safer gambling week isn’t something bad. BGC’s CEO said that he cannot understand why someone would oppose deposit limits that seek to protect people from harm.

Who could possibly be against making sure people are aware of all the professional help and support services that exist for those who may be struggling, or for families worried that a loved one may be experiencing problems?

Michael Dugher, CEO, BGC

Dugher also emphasized that safer gambling initiatives DO have an effect. While they certainly aren’t flawless, official data from the UKGC shows that the problem gambling rates are plummeting. Safer Gambling Week is one of the initiatives that contribute to these favorable statistics. Each year, this campaign helps people learn about the safer gaming tools they can use to enjoy gambling with none of the harm.  

Dugher admitted that people have different views on the matter but said that even the most ardent anti-gambling prohibitionists should understand the benefits of Safer Gambling Week. Dugher is known as a fervent opponent of prohibitionist beliefs and can often be heard speaking in defense of Britain’s gaming industry. He is now cautiously waiting for the publishing of the notorious white paper that will revolutionize gaming in the country.

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