Thanks to the Safer Gambling Week campaign, the number of punters that used safer gambling tools had skyrocketed, according to the new figures released Wednesday, March 8.
The campaign that launched October 2022 was a success, as it revealed that during this month, around 200,000 accounts have set deposit limits, an increase of 12.5% compared to the same month of the previous year.
Meanwhile, 61% of players who set deposit limits, did so for the very first time.
Also, the number of players who actively use reality checks (on-screen alerts that track how long they are playing) have risen by an astounding 300%.
Last year's Safer Gambling Week also broke previous social media records, generating almost 30 million impressions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a 21% increase from 2021.
These latest statistics come right after the Gambling Commission found that problem gambling rates among UK adults have dropped to 0.2%, down from 0.3% the year previous.
Safer Gambling Week is a yearly cross-sector initiative that brings together the Irish and UK regulated betting and gambling industry - including bookmakers, amusement arcades, casinos, bingo clubs and online gaming operators - with stakeholders and charities to encourage responsible play and safer gambling.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said:
"These new figures show Safer Gambling Week has made a huge impact and continues to be an increasingly vital platform to successfully encourage the use of safer gambling tools in the regulated industry.
Millions of customers now use safer gambling tools including deposit limits and time outs. This is a pillar of the regulated betting and gaming industry and is in marked contrast to the unsafe, unregulated and growing online gambling black market, which has none of the safeguards strictly employed by BGC members. Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry's determination to keep raising standards.
When we launched Safer Gambling Week last year, there was the usual disparagement from the usual suspects in the anti-gambling lobby who want to see less gambling not safer gambling. But millions of people do enjoy a bet - whether that's on the lottery, sports, bingo or gaming - and even though problem gambling is very low at 0.2% according to the latest figures, it's important our customers continue to gamble safely and responsibly. This is where technology and the regulated industry can help.
We look forward to Safer Gambling Week 2023 with renewed enthusiasm following last year's outstanding success."
The campaign's main feature was highlighting and promoting tools which empower people to enjoy betting and gaming more responsibly.
Around 22.5 million adults in the UK enjoy placing a bet each month, whether it's purchasing a lottery ticket, visiting a casino, having a bingo game, playing online, or wagering on horseracing, football and other sports.
The regulated betting and gambling industry contributes £7.1 billion to the economy, generates £4.2 billion in tax, and supports 110,000 jobs.
As for the unsafe and unregulated gambling black market, it does not pay any tax, and it also makes no contribution to the economy, sports or jobs. The number of people using such sites has doubled in recent years and the amount staked is in the billions.
The Government prepares to publish reforms to betting in the UK. The Gambling Review, which BGC strongly supports, is a further opportunity to raise standards and promote safer gambling, but any changes introduced by the Government must not force gamblers to turn to the growing unsafe, unregulated black market online, which does nothing to promote safer gaming.