Safer Gambling Week, an annual cross-industry initiative promoting responsible gambling, enters its sixth year in 2023.
When is Safer Gambling Week 2023?
Safer Gambling Week 2023 takes place between Monday 13th and Sunday the 19th of November 2023.
What is Safer Gambling Week?
Safer Gambling Week is an annual event that takes place across the UK and Ireland, where bookmakers and charities increase promotion of the safer gambling tools they offer to help customers bet responsibly throughout the year and help manage their gambling more safely.
The objective is to spark more conversations around gambling habits and provide necessary assistance to those who feel they are no longer betting responsibly, by highlighting where to find advice and support.
As well as bookmakers, key support organisations such as the National Gambling Helpline and GamCare will also provide a host of workshops and training sessions over the course of the week.
How can I stay in control of my gambling?
- Set reality checks – providing prompts and time-outs to help you manage the amount of time you play online.
- Set deposit limits – You can set limits that can be set for periods of time ranging from daily to monthly, and can be decreased, increased and removed entirely.
- View the history of your gambling activity – To enable you to keep track of your activity, you will be able to access the history of your transactions, deposits, and withdrawals.
- Take A Break – You can set a break period anything from 24 hours to 6 weeks.
- Self-Exclude – You have the ability to self-exclude and stop gambling altogether. Self-exclusion can be applied for anything from six months to five years.
- Autoplay controls – If you like to play games using the auto-play feature, you’ll be asked to select your stake and loss limits before you start. And if you like, you can even choose to pause the game when you hit a jackpot, so you don’t eat into any of your winnings.
How will I know if I have a gambling problem?
To gauge whether your gambling may be becoming a problem, the NHS recommends asking yourself the following questions and scoring your answers as such: never = 0, sometimes = 1, most of the time = 2, almost always = 3.
- Do you bet more than you can afford to lose?
- Do you need to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling?
- Have you tried to win back money you have lost (chasing losses)?
- Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
- Have you wondered whether you have a problem with gambling?
- Has your gambling caused you any health problems, including feelings of stress or anxiety?
- Have other people criticised your betting or told you that you had a problem with gambling (regardless of whether or not you thought it was true)?
- Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your household?
- Have you ever felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble?
The NHS explain: “If your total score is 8 or higher, you or those closest to you, are likely to be experiencing gambling-related harms.
“If your total score is between 1 and 7, gambling might still be having a negative impact on your life.”
What should I do if I think I have a gambling problem?
Gambling disorder is a recognised medical issue. Addictive behaviours can be present with people from all walks of life, affecting physical, mental and financial wellbeing as well as personal and professional relationships. For some, recognising the problem is enough to adjust behaviours. For others, there are many support services available.
Stigma associated with addictions can prevent some people from seeking help, so a key part of Safer Gambling Week’s messaging is: Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.
There are immediate steps you can take yourself, including:
- Signing up to GamStop will prevent you from using gambling websites and apps for a period of your choice, from six months to 1-5 years.
- Installing Gamban will block access to gambling websites and apps on selected devices.
- The NHS also advises asking your bank to block any money going to gambling websites and apps.
- Setting up direct debits and standing orders to pay essential bills, such as your mortgage and utilities, on payday. This may prevent you prioritising gambling and getting into debt (visit the National Debtline for help if this is an issue in your case).
- The NHS also suggests spending more time with friends and family in environments where means of gambling is less readily accessible, and talking to someone you trust about what is you are going through.
It is also important to avoid viewing gambling as a means of making money and using credit cards to gamble.
If you feel you or someone you know needs urgent help, the NHS has a list of helplines and listening services here.
Find out how to self-refer to NHS gambling treatment clinics by following this link.
What should I do if I think someone I know has a gambling problem?
Be Gamble Aware advises, “The best way to start a conversation with them is to show empathy, and reassure them that you’re not going to judge them. It’s also important to understand that they may have hidden their gambling due to the stigma attached to it, which makes it more difficult to open up.”
The charity also stresses that, “It’s not your job to fix someone else’s behaviour […] You can only take care of someone else when you’re looking after yourself too.”
You can visit their advice page on ‘ How to help a loved one who gambles’ by following this link.
GamFam support those affected by someone else’s gambling and also have a programme for those directly in recovery
Gambling with Lives offer support for people bereaved by gambling-related suicide.
How else can I seek help?
If you feel like you have a problem and want to stop, you can contact one of the following organisations:
0808 8020 133
0808 8020 133
National Problem Gambling Clinic
0800 0234 650
Safer Gambling Week is taking place from 13 – 19th November 2023 and is a cross-industry initiative to promote safer gambling in the UK. Its aim is to create conversations with customers, staff and the wider public about safer gambling while driving awareness of...
- How to gamble more safely
- Tools available to help people gamble safely all year round
- Sources of more advice and support
For more details, follow this link