New scheme encourages self-exclusion in Glasgow

New scheme encourages self-exclusion in Glasgow

Monday, July 27, 2015 Totally Gaming
ABB chief Malcolm George hopes the scheme will help problem gamblers

Glasgow’s Treasurer says that a new self-exclusion scheme launching today (Monday) will promote crucial information sharing between betting operators and regulators.

Paul Rooney has backed the new three-month pilot that is being introduced through a partnership between the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), betting shops and the Glasgow city council.

The move means residents of the Scottish city will be able to call a confidential helpline to ask to be refused service at 36 participating shops, regardless of the operator. This will make exclusion much easier, with gamblers previously having to fill in a form at each outlet to ask for exclusion.

The helpline will also provide information on how to get help and counselling to deal with a gambling problem.

 “We simply don't know enough about how problem gambling affects individuals, families and communities - either here in Glasgow or anywhere else in the UK,” said Rooney, Glasgow Treasurer and chairman of a cross-party group on gambling.

“However, this project breaks new ground in terms of the industry sharing information, both between operators and, crucially, with their regulator.

“Only time will tell if it will offer more effective support for Glaswegians who are struggling with their gambling here and now - but I also want to ensure the city uses this opportunity to gain a better understanding of who finds their gambling become a problem, how they try and cope with that, and to what extent they are able to bring it under control.”

The ABB recently ran its Gamble Aware Week in Scotland in June which aimed to promote responsible gambling. During the week, Scotland’s leading bookmakers transformed shop windows to encourage all customers to only bet what they could afford to lose, while customers were educated about the tools available to help them stay in control of their spending.

The ABB represents 80 per cent of the UK’s high street betting sector, and its members include William Hill, Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and Paddy Power.

Speaking about the pilot, ABB chief executive Malcolm George said: “This is a very important step towards helping problem gamblers in Glasgow stay in control, and get the help they need. High street betting operators want all customers to enjoy their leisure time and gamble responsibly.

“We also want to help those who may be getting into difficulties, and this scheme is a big step forward to achieving that. In addition, it will directly shape the UK-wide scheme that will begin next year.”

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