Posted in Industry December 12, 2019
Responsible Gambling Week Celebrated
Problem gambling has long been a hidden health concern. What’s even more alarming is that online games, including video games and casino favorites like poker and slots, are popular among people of all ages and backgrounds. Online games are addictive, and easy access to them only complicates the issue.
Today, problem gambling affects people of all age groups, including over 25,000 children in the United Kingdom (UK Gambling Commission, 2018). In light of this growing problem, the gambling industry celebrated Responsible Gambling Week from November 7 to 13 with great enthusiasm and commitment. With concerns about problem gambling on the rise, promoting safer gambling has become a collective effort among stakeholders.
Insignificant Sums and Transactions Can Have Long-Term Consequences
In the UK, problem gambling isn’t just a concern for adults who play at casinos. Children who love playing video games on their mobile phones and make in-game purchases can also be affected. One parent, Jane Edwards, noticed seemingly insignificant charges on her bank statements, such as £2 or £2.50. She knew she hadn’t spent money on these games, but with teenage kids in the household, she soon discovered that her children had linked her credit card to the online video games. These “insignificant amounts” were used to purchase game upgrades, which enhance gaming performance. Mrs. Edwards was vigilant about these behavior changes and had conversations with her children to address the issue.
Games Can Serve as an Exciting Escape, Starting From a Young Age
For some, casino games provide an exciting form of escape. Sometimes, this habit starts at a young age. Tony Marini, a well-known advocate for responsible gambling, knows this firsthand, having been a former gambler himself. Marini was introduced to gambling at a young age, playing cards with his father and betting pennies. He found it to be an exciting escape. As he grew older, he discovered the poker tables in casinos and felt “at home.” However, his life took a turn for the worse, and he became addicted to the game and alcohol. Today, after 14 years of recovery, Marini works as a therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, helping others with similar struggles.
More Education Needed, Responsible Gambling Week is a Perfect Opportunity
According to Marini, education is crucial in addressing problem gambling, whether it’s related to mobile video games or participation in poker tables. Responsible Gambling Week is a step in the right direction, as it raises awareness and promotes education. This collaborative effort among industry stakeholders aims to initiate conversations about gambling responsibly with customers, staff, and the general public. Throughout the week, players and the public learn about tips and tools for responsible gambling and gain access to advice and support resources.
This year’s celebration also saw collaboration between various stakeholders in the UK and Irish gambling industries. Amusement arcades, bookmakers, casinos, and bingo clubs all took part in informing, educating, and spreading the message of responsible gaming. Leading companies such as BoyleSports, Kindred, the Racecourse Association (RCA), and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) showed their support. BoyleSports distributed leaflets and provided customer tips, while Kindred focused on promoting positive behavior through sports. The RCA and BHA used their digital channels to promote responsible gambling messaging.
At Casino.Dev, we take responsible gaming very seriously. Read our responsible gaming manifesto here.
Take care out there!