Bookmakers and Online Casinos Need Adverts With a Fair Warning - The Droitwich Standard

Bookmakers and Online Casinos Need Adverts With a Fair Warning

GambleAware is the UK’s leading gambling charity, and it warned against the industry’s current slogan, which is ”Take Time To Think.”

The issue is particularly important ahead of the Euro 2024 football tournament, as it is expected to be very popular among bettors and make it next to impossible for them to slow down or quit betting altogether.

Thus, GambleAware made it clear that bookmakers and online casinos need adverts with a fair warning and a clear message that gambling can be addictive.

Replacing the inadequate slogan

GambleAware did its research and created a new set of guidelines. They discovered that wall-to-wall betting adverts typically increase during big sports tournaments, which makes it difficult for people who have a gambling problem to stop.

Once a betting and gambling problem starts developing, a player can take one of two routes—they can either keep playing until matters escalate, or they can decide to address the issue early on.

Usually, gamblers who recognize the problem early on will decide to take a few preventative measures, such as excluding themselves from online gambling sites. Some stay strong in the face of temptation and kick their gambling habit with success, while others feel they’ve signed up in error and look for an online list consisting of non-Gamstop casinos.

Casinos licensed by the Gambling Commission must follow Gamstop restrictions, so none of the players who are currently self-excluded will be able to access the games. In other words, non-Gamstop casinos are websites regulated in another jurisdiction, as they let a player avoid a self-exclusion ban. They also come with fewer restrictions and limitations, and provide players with direct access to high-stakes games.

Make no mistake—this doesn’t make them illegal or unsafe. However, since they operate in different areas and have special rules to comply with, it’s necessary to conduct thorough research before playing. When it comes to gambling, caution is needed in more ways than one.

The “Take Time To Think” slogan was made by the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC), and GambleAware’s call to replace it could cause friction between industry operators. That comes as an addition to the standing concerns that the source of its funding—which includes donations from the industry—could make GambleAware less independent.

Of course, BGC firmly defends its creation by saying that it was launched after a lot of thought, consideration, and consultation. They claim they have consulted the government and the academics, as they wanted to find a way to promote responsible gambling in the best online casinos and sportsbooks.

Likewise, BGC claims to have carried out extensive customer research with the goal of finding out the best way to encourage responsible gaming, as well as engaged with academics, operators, and stakeholders—including GambleAware.

The industry donated a whopping £49.5 million last year, and every single pound was given on the basis of free will. This voluntary approach is well-established, and it has worked great so far, as operators have not been forced to pay a mandatory levy.

However, there are plans in the making to replace these voluntary contributions with mandatory ones. The purpose of the proposed initiative is to get more donations and raise money that will be used for “research, education, and treatment”.

The plan was part of a white paper on gambling reform, which was published last year. The plans for the change in the system of funding were announced by the Conservative government; however, the proposal remained unfinished after Rishi Sunak decided to call a summer election. Currently, there aren’t any valid or definitive decisions on whether or not the levy will be pushed if Labour wins the elections.

Gambling is more than ‘just a little bit of fun’

GambleAware has a new vision—it wants to ensure that all slogans have a clear warning about the risks of gambling and betting within them. Thus, they could be something along the lines of “Gambling can be addictive” or “Gambling comes at a price.” The slogan that preceded “Take Time To Think” was “When the fun stops, stop,” and it also faced harsh criticism.

The chief communication officer at Gamble Aware—Alexia Clifford—said that they want people to stop thinking of gambling as ‘just a little bit of fun,’ which is a message many adverts send. While gambling does serve the purpose of having fun, it can also turn into a huge problem for people who lose control and start spending more money than they should be.

This is of crucial importance, as 55% of people who have been surveyed said they found it impossible to escape gambling adverts. Just as many people reported being tempted to keep playing and finding it hard to cut down on gambling once they see these ads.

Instead, GambleAware wants to protect people from the harm that can come with spending too much on gambling. Thus, they want to ensure the new slogan will warn people about the risks of developing a gambling problem. Likewise, they aim to make sure you know where to go and who to turn to in case you need it.

The previously mentioned white paper on gambling reform is committed to reviewing customer messaging. Regardless of who wins the elections, a lot of work on the message and its delivery will be needed, especially since the message is pretty clear—gambling can be risky. Learn how to recognize the problem and stop at the first sign of trouble.




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