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What is the Standard?

What is safer gambling?

Considering gambling risks

‘Safer gambling’ is a term used to describe the industry’s approach to limiting the risk of problem gambling and gambling-related harm. The term is often used interchangeably with ‘responsible gambling’ and can also be referred to as the industry’s ‘social responsibility’.

Safer gambling stems from a gambling industry that:

  • is committed to taking care of its customers
  • empowers its customers with the knowledge to manage their gambling 
  • ensures that the young and vulnerable are protected from the adverse consequences of gambling.

The Gambling Commission provides helpful information to consumers on this topic. We explain some of the terms and definitions used in safer gambling here.

What does safer gambling look like?

Examples may include:

  • A gambling business sets in place specific rules or logic to identify a customer at risk of developing a gambling problem and has trained staff to effectively interact with them.
  • A gambling business provides customers with tools to set time or spend limits on their gambling.
  • A gambling business puts in place systems to detect underage gambling.

Safer gambling customer interactions

Gambling businesses are required as part of their licensing conditions to interact with customers at risk of or experiencing harm from gambling. Customer interactions can be proactive or reactive in nature:

  • A proactive customer interaction is a business-led interaction with a customer based on concerns the business has about the customer’s level of gameplay.
  • A reactive interaction is the business’s response to being contacted by a customer.

Interacting effectively with customers is a key focus of GamCare’s Safer Gambling Standard and industry training services

Impacts of ‘unsafe’ gambling

Problem gambling can affect many areas of a person’s life. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, problem gamblers are more likely than others to suffer from low self-esteem, develop stress-related disorders, to become anxious, have poor sleep and appetite, to develop a substance misuse problem and to suffer from depression.

Research has also shown a strong link between gambling problems and thoughts of suicide – more than double the amount of people affected by gambling problems say that they have considered taking their own life compared to those who are not affected by gambling. Find out more about gambling impacts.

Concerned about someone else’s gambling?

If someone you know gambles with a specific business, you can try contacting that business to raise your concerns. Accredited businesses will have a policy in place to respond to your concerns. You can also contact GamCare for free, confidential advice and support.

Player protection tools explained

Read about the psychology behind new safer gambling tools designed to protect players from gambling harm.

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How accreditation benefits customers

  • You’re using a business that focuses on customer safety
  • You get access to tools and information to manage your gambling
  • You’ll receive support if concerning changes in your play are detected