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Industry group reports growing reach of awareness campaign

Senet Group to share findings with DCMS as part of FOBT consultation

Independent bookmakers: enjoyed a profitable 2017
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Growing numbers of punters and members of the general public are becoming aware of the responsible gambling mantra being promoted by bookmakers, according to the Senet Group.

The group – whose members represent 75 per cent of the UK high street bookmaking sector and around 40 per cent of the online gaming market – reports over half of all adults and 80 per cent of those describing themselves as regularly betting are aware of the 'When the fun stops' campaign.

A total of 75 per cent of those giving a positive answer were familiar with the three key messages around the self-exclusion campaign, namely to set personal limits, to gamble only within your means and to not chase losses, while nearly a quarter said they believed they had modified their behaviour.

And 11 per cent of the broader population surveyed said that the campaign had prompted them to raise concerns with others about potential problem gambling. 

Wanda Goldwag, the group's chair and independent standards commissioner, highlighted the effectiveness of retaining a simple, sustained message.

She said: "The reach and impact of this campaign is at levels few, if any, other public health awareness and behaviour change can match.

"In less than three years we've doubled the number of people saying they had raised a gambling worry with others and nearly doubled the number who have been prompted to stop gambling on some occasion.

"If the results are representative, this would mean over three million players have changed their habits to some degree as a result of the campaign and even more people have felt encouraged to raise a gambling worry with others."

The latest results come at a time when the industry's claims to be an effective self-regulator are coming under sustained pressure, and follow on from confirmation by the government they are committed to reducing the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals in betting shops from £100 to a level between £2 and £50. 

The government has also announced they would be launching their own responsible gambling advertising campaign – to be funded to the tune of £5-7 million by betting operators – in conjunction with charity GambleAware. 

Goldwag said: "We'll be sharing these findings with DCMS as the department consults on proposals for changes to gaming machines and social responsibility measures. We think this is a demonstration of what the sector can do working collaboratively."

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is due to conclude its consultation on maximum stakes for FOBTs on January 23. 

If you are interested in this story, you should read: 

Responsible Gambling Week had an impact says Hagan

Report delivers loud wake-up call over responsible gambling shortcomings


If the results are representative, this would mean over three million players have changed their habits to some degree
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