GamCare Industry Code for the Display of Safer Gambling Information FAQs
Read our frequently asked questions about the GamCare Industry Code for the Display of Safer Gambling Information.
The Code applies to businesses operating gambling websites or apps:
- who are members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and/or
- who apply for the Safer Gambling Standard accreditation scheme (version 3.0 B2C onwards)
Beyond this, all businesses who operate gambling websites or apps are encouraged and welcome to comply with the Code. Whilst it is not a legal requirement of businesses to adhere to this Code, adherence can be assumed as a commitment of that business to seeking out a better experience for customers.
Whilst the Code does not apply to affiliates, Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG) support the Code and encourage their members to review the content and adopt these measures where relevant.
The Code focuses on the online sector in the first instance, as it was felt that this is where greatest improvements could be made in a short time. A Code for land-based gambling businesses is due to be developed later in 2021, COVID-19 lockdown restrictions permitting.
The Code covers the following areas:
- Placement of Safer Gambling information within website or app
- Safer Gambling messaging*
- Access to Safer Gambling tools or controls
- Minimum content requirements for Safer Gambling section or microsite
- Updating Safer Gambling information
- Presentation of content
- Self-excluding customers
*Note the Code does not cover messaging but seeks to make links between placement and messaging.
The Code aims to prevent gambling-related harm amongst the general population. It covers general Safer Gambling communications aimed at all customers of online gambling products in Great Britain, irrespective of risk profile and would be in addition to any communications or interventions targeted at specific segments of customers who are, for example, displaying signs of gambling-related harm.
Businesses should note that this Code is designed to complement and sit alongside existing regulations and industry codes. The Code does not cover gambling marketing or advertising, which is addressed through separate regulatory and advisory codes of practice such as the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) Code for Socially Responsible Advertising.
Yes, all BGC members who operate gambling websites or apps will be required to put measures in place to comply with the Code by August 2021.
Members of the BGC will need to be fully compliant with the Code by August 2021. This timescale reflects that longer-term developmental work may be required by businesses to ensure compliance with some aspects of the Code. However, there are also a number of measures in the Code which can be achieved in in the short term. Businesses are therefore expected to have commenced implementation and ensure best endeavours to implement various measures in the Code as soon as feasibly possible.
The Code includes a range of requirements, recommendations and guidance for gambling businesses on how to display Safer Gambling information for their customers. Gambling businesses need to comply with all requirements to be considered compliant with the Code but beyond this, they are encouraged to take a test and learn approach to implementation. For further details on compliance, see clauses 38 – 43 in the Code.
If your business would like to confirm whether they have implemented the Code effectively, they can do so as part of the Safer Gambling Standard assessment process.
The Code does not reference the TalkBanStop campaign for two reasons:
- To ensure future-proofing – TalkBanStop is currently a one year pilot programme, whereas the Code is applicable on an on-going basis, and will evolve over time. Therefore, the Code doesn’t current include TalkBanStop, but may eventually include it should the programme become permanent.
- The Code sets out minimum content requirements for operators to ensure there is a baseline standard which all operators can refer to. However, this does not preclude operators from providing additional content at their discretion, and we would encourage operators to incorporate the TalkBanStop resources into their materials where possible.
The Code has tried not to be overly prescriptive regarding minimum font / size requirements, given that businesses are operating across a range of platforms and website/app designs which could mean achieving consistency becomes a barrier to implementation. Businesses are encouraged to make Safer Gambling information as prominent as possible and to trial different approaches to determine what has best effect with customers.
On-going Code development
Yes, the Code is expected to be a living document which evolves and adapts according to changes in regulation, new research and evaluation. GamCare, in consultation with the BGC, will be responsible for undertaking periodic reviews of the Code.
Yes, businesses are responsible for evaluating the effect that the Code has had on their approach and the resultant impact on customer behaviour. For further details, see clause 41 of the Code. In addition to this, GamCare and the BGC will work together with gambling businesses to evaluate the wider impacts of changes. If your business would like to be involved in our evaluation, please contact: [email protected].