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‘Safer Gambling Week’ is a cynical stunt - we need real action

13 November 2023
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Press release: ‘Safer Gambling Week’ is a “cynical stunt” that shifts the blame for problem gambling onto punters, a charity has said.

CARE, which campaigns for tougher regulation of the gambling industry, highlights the need for legislative change.

As the event kicks off today, the charity is calling for significant action by the government that sees big gambling "reined in".

Tim Cairns, a gambling policy expert at CARE, said:

“Safer Gambling Week is emblematic of all that is wrong with the gambling industry in the UK. This cynical stunt is less about safety and more about big gambling pretending it has a heart. It doesn’t. Safer Gambling Week shifts the blame for harms associated with gambling to people experiencing addiction – it encourages people to ‘be safer’. The gambling industry would have us believe that gamblers don’t act in a safe and responsible way, so their suffering is on them.

“The reality is that big gambling has spent 20 years making their product more addictive, easier to play, and available 24/7 whilst ignoring pleas from suffering individuals. It is long past time that gambling was treated in the same way as tobacco. Only the government can bring in reform. It’s time for Ministers to show that they will no longer listen to heartless big gambling, and instead pay heed to the people suffering because of its actions. It’s time for change.

Mr Cairns added:

“The government has promised changes to gambling legislation. If gamblers are to be kept safe, ministers need to do for gambling what past governments did for big tobacco. Advertising needs to be cut and the gambling industry needs to be placed under a levy that is sufficient to properly meet the public health crisis it has inspired. At least five per cent of industry profits. The industry must be reined in to ensure that it is not free to target the vulnerable.”


Notes for Editors

CARE is a social policy charity, bringing Christian insight to the policies and laws that affect our lives. Contact us:

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While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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