GambleAware Goes Live with Improved Health Warnings for Harms Associated with Gambling

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May 18th, 2024
Back GambleAware Goes Live with Improved Health Warnings for Harms Associated with Gambling

GambleAware, one of the loudest promoters of responsible gambling, and leading independent charity in Great Britain calls for improved health warnings on gambling ads. Following the recent research which encompassed over 7,000 participants, it was concluded that the current slogan “Take Time To Think” doesn’t put enough emphasis on all gambling-related harms.

One of the burning issues discovered in the survey has to do with younger demographics and their view of the online space they consume. They have noticed a high volume of betting promotions and gambling-like content on pages they visit, all aiming to normalize gambling for harmful groups, namely children and young people.

In April this year National Gambling Support Network, a project by GambleAware, celebrated the first anniversary sharing some amazing stats. Over 28,000 people have been supported via the National Gambling Helpline and thousands more via their local service provider, confirming that consumers are becoming more aware of the potential harm.

Urgent Need for Better Safeguards

The widely used industry-led slogan “Take Time To Think” (TTTT) appears not to be effective enough in warning people about gambling-associated risks.

Pointing out the need for more compelling health warnings, Alexia Clifford, Chief Communications Officer for GambleAware, said:

"We're also concerned about operators’ misuse of the GambleAware logo and the lack of clear signposting to support channels. We urge industry to take heed of the growing body of evidence highlighting the need for better safeguards and restrictions.”

Managed by the Betting and Gaming Council, the national campaign named “Take Time To Think” and the slogan itself was used in gambling advertisements shown in various places. It was displayed not only on online platforms and television but, casinos, bingo halls, high-street arcades, and betting shops.

According to the new guidelines to be announced later in the year, the GambleAware logo should never be used in isolation. Instead, it should be accompanied by more proactive signposting, informing consumers where to seek help.

Three New Health Warnings to be Implemented

The current slogan will be replaced with three new messages, which, officials believe, are more memorable, clearer, and more impactful. These are the alternatives, which are supposed to inspire people to change their behavior and approach this form of entertainment more responsibly:

  • Gambling can be addictive
  • Gambling comes at a cost
  • Gambling can grip anyone

In addition to this, a separate health warning created by GambleAware shown at the end of a 30-second gambling advertisement turns out to be more effective in directing people where to seek help.

Adjustments like these are needed due to the absence of strict marketing restrictions, so to make people fully aware of the addictive nature of gambling. Children and young people are at the biggest harm.

Sharing his personal experience of dealing with gambling-related harm, Sam Starsmore said:

"Gambling operators spend millions on advertising, but there isn’t nearly enough regulation, and signposting to support services has to be improved.”

As he noted, safer gambling messages didn’t contain enough information or direction on where to seek the much-needed support. The way he sees it, these significant changes could help prevent so many people from dealing with serious consequences that could result from excessive gambling.

Source:

“GambleAware calls for health warnings on gambling ads, as major research highlights need for improved safer gambling messaging”, gambleaware.org, May 13, 2024.

“the current slogan “Take Time To Think” doesn’t put enough emphasis on all gambling-related harms”

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