GambleAware reports that betting shop staff are given 'poor training'

GambleAware reports that betting shop staff are given 'poor training'

Monday, October 9, 2017 Posted by Joseph Streeter
The research revealed many staff had not had practical training in how to promote responsible gambling in their day-to-day jobs

A new GambleAware report has identified that gambling operators across the industry are poor at giving staff suitable training in how to promote safe gambling amongst customers.

The research, requested by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG), and undertaken by Revealing Reality, revealed many staff had not had practical training in how to promote responsible gambling in their day-to-day jobs. It found that very few have the confidence to communicate effectively with customers on how to minimise the risks of gambling, and at worst, could inadvertently encourage customers to “chase their losses” or develop flawed “winning strategies".

Staff surveyed said there is more emphasis on regulatory compliance than actually helping customers day-to-day. However, the research did point out that some operators are in the process of developing new training strategies for staff.

A minority of operators are also in the process of developing new responsible gambling messages. The research identifies the need for more creativity and investment into the development of responsible gambling material, and testing how well customers receive and understand these messages.

Customers say the amount of promotional and commercial content conflicts with messages about responsible gambling. Safety messages are often less obvious than promotional material. Most customers are unaware of the responsible gambling messages already in place. Even when they are aware, respondents said the language used in messages is often confusing and unclear, which means they are less likely to understand it or interpret the material as a means of help or support.   

Operators have challenged new responsible gambling material, as “too costly” or “risky”. Findings show the industry would require compelling academic evidence to support investment into new responsible gambling ideas, in stark contrast to a test and learn approach applied to new sales and marketing messages.

The project generated a wide range of innovative responses to address the shortcomings identified, which will now be formally trialled and evaluated as pilots at a variety of gambling venues and online. The ambition is for the best ideas to be adopted voluntarily across the whole industry, driving a significant reduction in gambling-related harm through a step-change in harm prevention.

Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, told “GambleAware will be commissioning further work in the near future. Specifically, we will be identifying a small number of pilot projects and seeking industry partners to help us to evaluate their effectiveness.

"However, this report is a significant wake-up call to the whole industry that it needs to work much harder to ensure staff and customers know when, how and where to seek help. This report shows where the gaps are and the industry needs to respond. Significant investment of time and effort is needed to protect players better from gambling-related harm in the first place. We hope the industry heeds the call to step up and give the well-being of customers much greater priority.”

Totally Gaming says: This study highlights that player protection is far more than just ticking regulatory boxes, when it comes to interventions in retail shops it’s of the utmost importance that staff are trained to deal with the heightened emotions that occur in the betting shop.


Are you aware that this year, the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) is launching Responsible Gambling Week - a national, cross-industry initiative to promote responsible gambling, running from 12 – 18 October 2017?  During the week, all sectors of the gambling industry (arcades, bingo clubs, bookmakers, casinos and online), in partnership with specialist charities, GambleAware and GamCare, will come together for this unified cause. To find out more, please visit and make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

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