UK gambling industry to launch code of conduct

Designed by the Association of British Bookmakers
The code will evolve as new research and new technological solutions are developed.
The UK Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection introduces enforced breaks for customers on gambling machines, automatic alerts about the money and time spent and improved training for gaming staff. It has been designed by the Association of British Bookmakers with the full support of the gambling industry.
Dr Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit, explains: “The player protection and harm minimisation measures proposed go further than anything else emanating from the UK gambling sector in the past.

“Some of the measures proposed are innovative and potentially world-leading and I am delighted that the ABB has taken such a proactive stance in its efforts to promote responsible gambling and minimise problem gambling.” It is the first time anywhere in the world that customers will able to set their own limits on the amount of time and money they spend on gambling machines. Staff are alerted when the limit is reached and the machine alerts the customer and forces a 30-second break in play..

Dirk Hansen, CEO of GamCare, a charity which helps treat problem gamblers, commented: “I welcome the ABB’s move towards offering greater protections for players, encouraging responsible play and for raising awareness amongst betting customers about the help that is available for problem gambling.

“These new measures will not only educate players to the risks associated with gambling, but also empower individuals to get support when they need it.” In addition, staff will be given additional training to help identify problem gamblers and to offer advice and support. The training will be refreshed on a regular basis. Messaging promoting the risks of problem gambling will also be given greater prominence. Both betting shops and individual machines will carry more conspicuous warnings from March 1 onwards. The technological measures are being installed on 33,000 gambling machines across England and Wales.

Due to testing and installation requirements, they will take up to six months to introduce. Bookmakers are working with gaming operators to ensure the time frames are as short as possible. The code will evolve as new research and new technological solutions are developed.

Dirk Vennix, chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, said: “The code will help give players more control and encourage responsible gambling. It forms part of the industry’s ongoing, proactive efforts to be socially responsibly, to tackle problem gambling and to ensure a duty of care towards every customer.”

“We recognise growing concerns that some customers are spending too much money or too much time on gaming machines That is why we have put together the code, which introduces revolutionary new harm minimisation measures, the likes of which have yet to be seen anywhere in the world. The industry has come together as one to promote responsible gambling. It is united in a fierce commitment to help vulnerable people. That is why the measures that the code introduces go above and beyond regulatory requirements.”

“We believe the measures strike the right balance between protecting customers without stopping the enjoyment of the eight million people who play on gaming machines without any problems,” concluded.

United Kingdom