Betting and Gaming Council Rebrand Responsible Gambling Week

Operators and stakeholders have agreed to rebrand the industry’s annual responsible gambling campaign. Responsible Gambling Week will now be called Safer Gambling Week to portray the diversity of the campaign more accurately.

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Betting and Gaming Council Rebrand Campaign © Pixabay.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have confirmed the name change of the campaign that will take place from 19-25 November; it will be the fourth such event, the first taking place in 2017. Despite the rebranding, the campaign will still retain the tagline “Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling”.

Michael Dugher, the BGC CEO, stated he was happy with the rebrand and paid tribute to the UK-centric campaign which had increased engagement levels. Dugher revealed that last year’s campaign achieved over 25 million impressions on social media, raising awareness of the tools and support which can help and encourage responsible gambling. Despite the COVID outbreak, it has been a busy couple of months for the BGC who have been working closely with the government to produce guidelines that will enable betting shops, that have been closed since March 23, to re-open next Monday (June 15).

In a statement, the BGC said the change was needed to reflect the growing number of organisations involved in the campaign. It read:

In coming together with one voice, the campaign, through an ever-increasing number and range of supporters, is able to extend its reach, year-on-year, and build on and add to the work that takes place throughout the year on safer gambling, education, awareness and support. Michael Dugher, BGC CEO

Preparations for the easing of lockdown began in May for the industry, and in April many bookmakers employed specialist contract cleaners who performed a ‘fogging’ of retail premises. In this process, all surfaces are disinfected as the solution is sprayed into the air.

When staff do return, the BGC has insisted that a range of equipment must be supplied. These include face masks and visors, rubber gloves, hand sanitisers, bottles of disinfectant. There will also be an alcohol-based solution which staff members will use to clean down slot machines after being used by a customer.

Staff will be encouraged to travel to work in their ordinary clothes and change into their uniforms when they arrive at work, in a bid to reduce the risk of contamination outside the workplace.

On the BGC website, independent bookmaker JenningsBet have detailed the changes they are introducing to enable them to comply with government guidelines. They are as follows; Hand sanitiser stations – At every entrance there will be hand sanitiser stations and customers will be asked to use these as they come into the shop. Floor markings will be used to show the customers a safe queuing distance.

Screens – Perspex screens will be placed on counters and around gaming machines to ensure customers are not stood too close together. In shops where this is not possible, the machines will be turned off. Customers will also be given styluses, preventing the need for customers to touch the screens.

Toilets – Only one customer will be allowed to use the restroom at a time. If staff believe safety is being compromised, the toilets will be closed down. Keyboards – Each member of staff will be given their own keyboard to use. At the end of their shift, they must either secure it safely on-site or take it home with them. Pens – Pens will no longer be left out for customers, staff can provide them, but they will be kept behind the counter.

Social distance ambassador – In the busier Jenningsbet shops, two members of staff will be on duty. One member of staff will continuously work behind the till with the other acting as a social distance ambassador. Their duties will include ‘walking the floor’ and ensuring that customers remain two metres apart. They will also ensure that customers are not congregating together at TV screens.

Managing director of Jenningsbet, Greg Knight said he was proud of the preparations that had taken place to enable them to re-open and added that he “couldn’t wait to open our doors again safely”.

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