A massive campaign aimed at tackling gambling addiction in the UK has just been launched. This comes about after a government review into the gambling industry put forward a series of recommendations to reduce problem gambling.
Designed to raise awareness of impulsive betting and the risks it poses to young online gamblers in particular, “Bet Regret” becomes the biggest-ever safer gambling campaign in Great Britain, initiated by independent charity GambleAware.
It came about following in-depth research and a series of consultations with experts and focus groups on the effects of impulsive betting to those who are at greatest risk of developing a gambling addiction.
Recent studies show that an estimated 2.4 million young men within the 16-34 age bracket are engaged in sports gambling. They place their bets mostly via the internet and do so on a regular basis. Around 63% of them believe that the opportunities to bet have increased in recent times, while 67% agree that young sports bettors can be easily enticed to make impulsive bets.
‘Bet Regret’ – A Combination of Prevention and Cure
As part of the huge campaign, GambleAware will roll out three TV adverts, promoting self-reflection on the sudden feelings of remorse arising from impulsive betting. The first one, which features Matt Smith of BTSports and former international footballers Danny Gabbidon and Dean Saunders, will be aired during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool scheduled for February 24.
The campaign is a joint initiative between the government and the broadcasting, advertising and gambling industries. Minister for Sport and Civil Society Mims Davies said the groundbreaking campaign seeks to remove the stigma surrounding gambling addiction and hopes to make people reflect on their betting habits and give them more courage to ask for help when they need it. Davies said dealing with gambling-related harms requires a combination of prevention and cure, as well as educating gamblers so they become aware enough to recognize risky play.
Professor Sian Griffiths, of GambleAware and Public Health England, said risky behaviors include sports betting under the influence of alcohol, or continuously betting inorder to chase losses or to overcome boredom. Griffiths said the campaign will contribute big-time to making people realize they can actually help themselves by examining their behaviors and get out of the trap as soon as they can.
The number of problem gamblers recorded in Great Britain stands at 340,000, while around 2 million adults are currently suffering from gambling-related harm.