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‘Take Time to Think’ is another step on our journey to keep customers safe and in control of their betting

Brigid Simmonds, Chairman

Brigid Simmonds, Chairman | Betting And Gaming Council

4 min read Partner content

Today the Betting and Gaming Council is launching a new campaign which is aimed at encouraging the 30 million people in Britain who enjoy a flutter to consider using the range of safer gambling tools at their disposal.

These include setting deposit limits and taking time outs as a way of staying in control of your betting. We want customers to see these as a normal approach, so they can maintain a safer gambling experience. 

The new campaign is entitled ‘Take Time To Think’ and replaces the outgoing ‘When The Fun Stops, Stop’, which has been running for several years. We have carried out extensive research to come up with the new campaign, and it has shown that  the vast majority of customers who bet responsibility will not respond to a hard-hitting message – they are very clear that they do not think it applies to them. 

Much more is now known about customers’ attitudes to betting and gaming, how they respond to safer gambling messages and, just as importantly, what puts them off.  Behavioural economics techniques allow messages to be relevant and appealing, so they reach the people they need to reach, and that they then respond accordingly.

‘Take Time to Think’ is as relevant to customers whether they bet online, or visit a betting shop, bingo club or casino.  It also has the flexibility for our members to use it in a way which they know will work with their customers.  So the key messages are:

  • Take Time to Think and Take a Break
  • Take Time to Think and Stay in Control
  • Take Time to Think and pause before you play
  • Take time to Think and set a cooling off period. 
  • Take Time to Think and set a deposit limit

As part of our work, the BGC commissioned extensive qualitative and quantitative customer research by a third party. This was subject to an academic review and engagement with the Gambling Commission, GambleAware, GamCare and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.  Three workshops were conducted to discuss the creatives which emerged and as a result twelve creative territories were tested with players and non-players, so that we could understand what worked and what didn’t.

What emerged was a firm belief that the industry should play a unified, but background role and provide subtle reminders to encourage customers to reflect on their own betting behaviour.  We are looking to emphasise the fun and entertainment that drives betting and gaming while at the same time encouraging positive behaviour which leads to a safer gambling experience. I am immensely proud of what has emerged from this lengthy and detailed process, and delighted that our members are giving it their backing.

‘Take Time to Think’ is launching today with a four-week television advertisement campaign featuring customers in a range of different settings pausing, considering the safer gambling tools, and then making an informed decision on what to do next. The rollout of the new message into our members’ land-based venues will be completed by the end of the year.

I have always been very clear that behavioural change depends on us all talking about the betting and gaming activities we undertake and making sure that we do not demonise the vast majority who choose betting and gaming as a leisure activity, and pursue it safely and responsibly.

‘Take Time To Think’ is another example of the BGC’s determination to drive up standards and promote safer gambling. Since we were formed nearly two years ago, we have introduced a range of measures – including a new code of conduct to prevent under-18s seeing betting ads online, changes to game design to encourage safer play and new rules on the use of football clubs’ social media accounts to promote gambling. Our members also ensure that at least 20 per cent of their TV and radio ads are safer gambling messages, leading to a 44 per cent increase in the number of players using deposit limits.

This is all in addition to the whistle-to-whistle ban, introduced shortly before the BGC came into existence, which prevents TV betting commercials being shown from five minutes before live sport begins until five minutes after it ends, before the 9pm watershed. This has led to a 97 per cent reduction in the number of such ads seen by children at that time.

‘Take Time to Think’ is another step on our journey to keep customers safe and ensure that we are not encouraging vulnerable people to gamble beyond their means.  It is a positive campaign which I hope will be supported by our customers.

Brigid Simmonds is chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council


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