The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a new betting industry trade body, has launched in the UK and has marked its launch with a new ‘cooling-off’ initiative for betting shops.
The BGC was originally announced in July, as a replacement for the Remote Gambling Association and the Association of British Bookmakers, and was officially launched last week.
And the body has wasted no time in bringing forward new proposals. This week, the BGC has announced new policies that would help betting companies to tackle problem gambling in retail betting offices. One of the most significant new measures is the release of the Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS). This is an algorithm that is designed to run on gaming machines in betting shops that can spot particular types of player behaviour that may suggest problem gambling.
Incidents of this behaviour will flash an alert on-screen, while also forcing the customer take a break from the game. APAS will also alert staff to the behaviour.
Speaking about the new initiative, the chairman of the BGC, Brigid Simmonds, said that it could play an important part in its push to promote safer gaming:
“I see this as an opportunity to champion the highest standards and share best practice on safe betting and gaming, and we hope these new measures are a sign of intent. I’m convinced that this approach can help restore public trust, and I look forward to working on further safer betting and gaming initiatives across our industry.”
Last week, the BGC announced the dedication of £10 million towards a national education programme, operated by charities GamCare and YGam, that would focus on teaching children and young people about the risks and dangers of gambling. That initiative is part of the BGC’s Safer Gambling Commitments, supported by a number of gambling operators.