As Safer Gambling Week continues, sectors of the UK gambling industry work with other supporting organisations with the common objective of raising awareness of safer gambling behaviours and encouraging staff, customers and the public to discuss what it means to gamble more safely.

Formerly named Responsible Gambling Week, the event is now in its fourth year and has achieved a ‘significant increase’ in engagement at all levels on the tools and support available to customers.

Speaking to Star Sports, CEO of the Betting And Gaming Council, Michael Dugher, stated: “Problem gambling rates are now beginning to fall. I think that’s a huge credit to BGC members, and others who put a huge amount of effort into tackling problem gambling – really focusing on those most at risk.

“The majority of people enjoy a bet and do so safely but what we’re saying to everyone is there are safer gambling tools available, take advantage of them, whether it’s keeping an eye on spending, taking time out or setting deposit limits.”

Research shows that around 2 million people now choose to set deposit limits when online betting, which Dugher regards as ‘great for ensuring safety for everyone’.

He added: “People need to be mindful that it’s not a good way of making money. Part of the toolbox that we have is self-exclusion. When people do get into difficulties they recongside that they have a problem and they can make the decision to self exclude.

“Some operators are now closing down accounts that have flagged unsafe gambling behaviour, but before this, interventions from operators are taking place.

“Phone calls and emails are designed to contact players to check in on players at a very early stage,” Dugher remarked. “We have a great number of markers of harm in place on the online sector where we can use the algorithms to keep an eye on players.”

Finally, Dugher stressed the importance for the education behind gambling harms, showing his support for the work of YGAM as the company continues to educate young people so they understand how betting works.

Charities as such are continuing to grow and make an impact, and today Clarion Gaming announced a partnership with YGAM by confirming the organisation as its first international charity collaboration.

The BGC’s Michael Dugher speaks to Star Sports on falling problem gambling rates