Bridgid Simmonds has passionately defended Safer Gambling Week against critics who she claims have attacked the campaign due to their general dislike of betting and gaming activities. The yearly campaign has been successful in uniting the UK gambling industry to support gambling harm prevention and awareness. Simmonds emphasized that regulated operators follow strict guidelines and prioritize customer safety.
Last year’s Safer Gambling Week was a significant success, extending beyond physical gambling venues to encourage conversations around responsible gambling. Simmonds highlighted the positive impact of the campaign, with around 200,000 accounts setting deposit limits and a remarkable 300% increase in players actively using reality checks. The online component of the campaign also saw impressive success, with over 50 million impressions across major platforms and half a million visits to the Safer Gambling Week website.
Simmonds reiterated the industry’s commitment to promoting responsible gambling and addressing problem gambling. She emphasized the need to raise standards and promote responsible gaming practices for a sustainable, player-oriented market.
Simmonds expressed dismay at persistent criticism from certain quarters, despite strong support from the government, independent regulators, and cross-party parliamentary backing. She accused detractors of disliking the gambling and gaming industry, which undermines efforts to enhance industry standards.
The BGC Chair highlighted ongoing efforts beyond Safer Gambling Week, confirming that the organization would continue dedicating time and resources to amplifying safer gambling tools and broadening support avenues for those in need.
Simmonds’s statements come during a tumultuous time for the UK gambling sector, with the government finalizing consultations on its gambling white paper. Recent revelations regarding politicians receiving donations from the BGC raised lobbying concerns, while a proposed gambling tax increase caused further friction. While the industry’s safe gambling efforts are commendable, valid criticisms should not be dismissed so easily.