The United Kingdom and Ireland, in a bid to make gamblers more aware of the risks associated with their pastime, are celebrating Responsible Gambling Week for the second year. Taking place from November 1 to November 8, employees at over 11,000 casinos, bookies, bingo halls and more are set to engage with customers regarding “responsible gambling”.
A number of online poker sites have also joined the campaign in support of the event, which will see numerous activities and fundraisers take place. These will be managed by operators that are affiliated with the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG). Several online platforms and trade publications are also donating various amounts of advertising space in order to get the week’s message across.
So, how has the online poker community played into this?
Many of the members of the IGRG are actually online poker operators. This has seen a large number of them contribute to the campaign itself, with multiple sites publishing their own pages to promote Responsible Gambling Week. They have also set up pages to offer advice to players about how they can play responsibly, including the chance to set deposit limits.
Can Raising Awareness Help to Tackle the Problems in the UK and Ireland?
According to a 2017 study by the UK Gambling Commission, the rate of problem gambling within the UK stood at 0.8%, while in Ireland, the rate was visibly larger at 2.2%. Comparing these figures with those found around the world, such as the USA’s 3.5% and 3.8% in South Africa, it doesn’t look like the UK is in that bad a position.
Yet, these surveys base their results on the frequency of individuals betting, rather than whether it is actually a problem for them or not. Additionally, not a huge percentage of players with gambling problems will stand up and admit it. Therefore, it’s quite likely that the percentage of problem gamblers in the UK is much higher than 0.8%.
The impact that gambling addiction can have on people and their families though, can often be quite devastating. The fact that the Responsible Gambling Week is being backed by many major online poker sites ensures that the message will reach a larger contingency of people. Full Tilt Poker, for example, has a page dedicated to responsible gambling. Others like PartyPoker and William Hill Poker are also advertising the importance of responsible gambling.
Each of the sites backing the event feature their own website sections dedicated to explaining how they safeguard their players against the issue of problem gambling. It’s a good initiative to put in place – helping to raise awareness of the effects of gambling addiction.
While for the moment, the week is only active in the United Kingdom and Ireland, perhaps other countries can learn and benefit from raising the awareness of such issues in the future.