A problem gambling charity known as GambleAware has launched a new phase of its safe gambling campaign tagged BetRegret: national safer gambling.
As of 11th September, the campaign has been running as part of the English football season and is designed to continue to target men between the ages of 18 and 34 who gamble on sports frequently.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the campaign and the backlash it has received.
GambleAware launches BetRegret Campaign
The most recent phase of the responsible gambling campaign project has been made up of two television adverts, followed by radio and online campaigns.
The first TV advert premiered during the televised Premier League season-opener between Arsenal and Fulham.
The advert showed a wrestling theme, focused around the idea of ‘tapping-out for time out’ with the aim of encouraging punters to halt or pause before they make an impulsive bet.
Sian Griffiths, the GambleAware trustee who doubles as the chair of the Safer Gambling Campaign Board, explained that the campaign is created to help fans of sports avoid Bet Regret and lessen potential gambling harms.
GambleAware pointed out that the second phase of the safe gambling campaign took into account research carried out by Ipsos, which studied the first year of the initiative.
The findings added that self-awareness among the primary target audience of men between the ages of 18-35 is fast increasing and their behaviour at sites with independent bookmakers in the UK is also changing. However, this demographic also requires specific advice on safe gambling or betting.
This study revealed that sequel to the return of football in June after a three-month unavoidable shut down due to the pandemic, 27% of their respondents were gambling more than they did before the lockdown, while another 62% had placed bets on football online in the previous month.
GambleAware also considered new studies from the Football Supporters Association (FSA), which focused on male fans to learn more about their behaviours and attitudes.
This poll found that 83% of fans had a greater likelihood to bet on a match they are watching from home than if they were to watch it live in the stadium, with 73% stating that it is easier for people to place a bet when they are at home.
Fans in certain parts of the United Kingdom are not currently able to go for live matches due to the Covid-19 restrictions in Tier 3 areas, with limited availability in Tiers 1 and 2.
The campaign has also enjoyed several backing from the Government, with some Ministers taking the bold step to come forward to commend GambleAware for its the moves to address the issue of problem gambling.
The Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, Jo Churchill MP stated in an interview that it is superb news that the GambleAware Bet Regret campaign is going into its second year.
Jo expressed his excitement that the campaign is still encouraging people who may be placing impulsive bets to pause and reconsider their actions. It also helps to ensure that anyone who is in need can get support and advice to shield them from gambling-related harm.
Criticism of Campaign
The reason why Tap Out campaign was launched early in September was to encourage players to quickly “tap out” of their smartphones before they place a bet so that they can have an opportunity to consider their choices.
However, aspects of the campaign met criticism from a body known as the All-Party Parliamentary Group as well as its chair, Carolyn Harris.
The group’s chair penned down a letter on behalf of the body to GambleAware in September raising its concerns.
According to the APPG’s letter, given that the Bet Regret campaign is a public health campaign, its adverts should not only encourage punters to ‘Tap Out,’ through a medium which is still clearly created to encourage people to place bets rather than avoid betting.
Instead, Carolyn said, the messages of the Ads should display more effective signposting or publicity towards self-exclusion tools GamStop or GamBan or the NHS.
Also, the APPG pointed out that a logical solution for any customer dealing with ‘Bet Regret’ would surely be to encourage gamblers or bettors to stop betting altogether.
Finally, the APPG stated that a number of public health experts and academics were particularly alarmed at the adverts, as they argue that the ability to ‘Tap Out’ is entirely meaningless for gamblers who are at risk, especially if they are under the influence of alcohol, as was the situation in one of the campaign ads.
Mark Etches, GambleAware chief executive, has made moves to respond to the letter from APPG chair Carolyn Harris. In his response, Mark pointed out that the campaign’s intentions were healthy and research-based.
He also pointed out that the GambleAware campaign was targeted at frequent bettors, instead of those who are experiencing gambling harms.