Hilary examines what the new Code of Conduct for online gambling businesses hopes to achieve.
GamCare has launched a new Code of Conduct for the gambling industry, which sets out how gambling businesses can make information about safer gambling tools and support more visible and consistent for online customers, ensuring these resources and services are clear and easy to access.
The Code was developed in consultation with Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) members, gambling support providers and individuals with lived experience of gambling harms.
Why has GamCare undertaken this work?
We know that only a small proportion of people affected by gambling harms in Great Britain come forward for support each year. By setting minimum standards for the display of safer gambling information for the online sector, we are looking to improve the consistency of information display, and reduce friction for customers so that they can readily access tools to help them manage their gambling, and to access free, specialist support whenever it might be needed.
Through the new Code, GamCare not only aims to make safer gambling tools easier to understand and access, but aims to make specialist support services more visible for those who need them, including the National Gambling Helpline, which can connect users to the full range of services offered by the National Gambling Treatment Service.
What does the Code say?
The Code primarily covers the display of on-site information, focusing on visibility and consistency of information and reducing the friction customers experience in accessing safer gambling tools. Measures include:
- Ensuring that the following three items of information are prioritised for display on gambling sites and apps:
- the gambling business’s safer gambling section or microsite
- the begambleaware.org website
- the National Gambling Helpline phone number, Freephone 0808 8020 133
- Ensuring that safer gambling tools are sufficiently integrated within the online customer journey and that there is minimal friction for customers, irrespective of risk profile, in applying these tools.
- Ensuring that businesses present Safer Gambling information to customers in a concise and engaging way, taking into consideration the most effective methods of communicating such information.
The Code also provides gambling businesses with guidance on how to implement these measures, such as by ensuring that ‘premium’ advertising or promotional website space is used to display safer gambling information and messages.
When can we expect to see changes to gambling websites and apps?
All BGC members offering gambling websites or apps in the UK will be required to comply with the Code by August 2021. We strongly encourage all other businesses offering online gambling activities to implement the Code as well.
Online gambling businesses who apply for the Safer Gambling Standard will also need to demonstrate that they comply with the Code as part of the assurance process.
Find out more
The full Code is available via www.safergamblingstandard.org.uk/gamcare-industry-code