As UK authorities are set to commence the long-awaited review of the Gambling Act, which will make changes that will regulate the gambling industry better and allow its residents to participate in these activities in the safest possible way, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) reminds everyone of the fact that sports sponsorships must go side by side with promoting safer gambling.
The Call Comes Just Before the Festive Period in the Country
The call by the BGC comes just as the UK is preparing for a massive festive period that includes darts, football, cricket and horseracing events. The council’s members offer racing sponsorship, levy payments and media rights which are worth around $470 million (£350 million).
Soccer clubs from the English Football League and the EFL itself receive around $53 million (£40 million) annually from the gaming and betting industry. Darts and snooker receive around $13.4 million (£10 million), while the rugby league receives around $3.3 million (£2.5 million).
These funds have proven to be vital, especially during the pandemic, but the BGC highlighted the fact that the operators must put extra effort into promoting safer gambling.
Safer Gambling Includes a Gambling Education Program
Many operators have taken the call by the BGC seriously and have launched campaigns on safer gambling. One of the most important actions is the safer gambling program which was delivered by EPIC Risk Management and sponsored by SkyBet. The program costs $1.3 million and will last for five years.
Kindred Group, which launched its 0% harmful gambling revenue mission, recruited Carl Frampton, Paddy Brennan and Wayne Rooney for its “Know Your Limits” safer gambling campaign.
The BGC funded the “Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Program”, which came at a cost of $13.4 million (£10 million), has initiatives that are related to nation-wide sports including at Birmingham City FC, Leicester FC and Rochdale AFC. This campaign is delivered by YGAM and GamCare.
Finally, Betway revealed a training program to all of its partner clubs in the Premier League, including West Ham United, in which safer and responsible gambling marketing sessions will be delivered.
BGC’s Chief Executive Stated that the Council Wanted to Raise the Bar
Even though the figures released by the UKGC state that the problem gambling rate has fallen from 0.6% to 0.3% in September year-to-date, BGC’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, stated that the council wanted to go a step further.
Dugher acknowledged the fact that during the Christmas and New Year holidays, sports fans are getting spoiled with the numerous sports events. He added that BGC members are happy to provide financial support to sport, however, it is also important for that process to go side by side with the council’s policies on promoting safer gambling.
BGC revealed a code of conduct earlier in 2021 that focused on how football clubs used social media. With the new rules, CTA and links to gambling sites weren’t allowed on the clubs’ media feeds. Moreover, the ban on gambling ads after 9 pm has lowered the number of gambling ads that are seen by children by 97%. All of this comes in addition to the pledge of all BGC members to dedicate 20% of the TV and radio ads to promote safer gambling messages.
Dugher noted that 30 million people in the UK enjoy a safe gambling experience and as the Gambling White Paper is yet to be published, he hopes that safer gambling will be a part of the industry’s commitment to sports.