The 17th to 23rd of October 2022 is Safer Gambling Week, an industry-wide program to raise awareness, educate players and promote safer gambling initiatives throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Whatever your preference for games of chance, it is undeniable that certain risks come with gambling pastimes. Educating about the potential pitfalls and being aware of the dangers can make it easier to recognise potential harm. The Safer Gambling Week aims to promote the tools readily available for you to use when gambling and list pathways to professional support and advice when needed.
UK-facing online casinos regulated by the UKGC are tasked with providing customisable limits for players to use to prevent overstretching their disposable incomes. Daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits, session-time reminders and real-time profit and loss displays can help keep track of spending and protect you from gambling harm. Ultimately, time-out and self-exclusion facilities can be used to help curb addiction by blocking access to online casinos.
Safer Gambling Week promotes additional services and increases dialogue around programs that offer help and support, such as GAMSTOP. The GAMSTOP service takes the idea of self-exclusion one step further by blocking access to all UKGC-licenced organisations. GAMSTOP users are prevented from using apps and websites licenced by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission for a chosen period.
Though each year, Safer Gambling Week raises awareness, the message is one worth reiterating, and Safer Gambling Week 2022 offers up the following truths for careful consideration no matter your position:
- It’s good to set yourself limits.
- Gambling is not a way to make money.
- It’s good to take a break.
- Friends and family are more important than gambling.
Head to safergamblinguk.org for helpful information that will solidify the above messages. You will find valuable answers to many questions about preventing gambling harm and who to approach for advice and support for those who may feel negatively affected by gambling or be concerned about friends or family. Safer Gambling Week is the time for increased awareness of the gambling warning signs so often missed by many who fall into addiction:
- Spending more money on gambling than you can afford
- Finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling
- Having arguments with family and/or friends about your gambling
- Losing interest in other activities that you usually enjoy
- Always thinking or talking about gambling
- Lying about your gambling or hiding it from your friends and family
- Chasing your losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble
- Gambling until all your money is gone
- Borrowing money, selling possessions, or not paying bills to fund your gambling
- Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same ‘buzz’ or excitement
- Neglecting work, study, family, friends, personal needs or household responsibilities because of your gambling
- Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable
If the above applies to you or anyone you know, professional help is never far away. If in the United Kingdom:
- Contact the National Gambling Treatment Service by visiting: www.BeGambleAware.org
- Visit www.gamcare.org.uk
- Or Freephone: National Gambling Helpline: 0808 8020 133
If in Ireland:
- Visit Dunlewy Substance Advice Centre: www.GamblingCare.ie
- Or Freephone: Ireland 1800 936 725 or Northern Ireland 08000 886 725
Take Time To Think & Gamble Responsibly