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Raffling big ticket items: prizes, pitfalls and potential risks 

We have recently investigated a number of different ‘house lotteries’ and other high value prize competitions in which members of the public could buy a ticket for a few pounds for a chance to win the home or car of their dreams.    Many of these competitions have been run illegally putting entrants at risk so we have produced some FAQs on house lotteries to help keep consumers safe from unregulated and unlicensed gambling.

Commission, NHS and others in Wales meet to discuss problem gambling

A round table event was chaired by Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton and Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur. The latest Commission figures show that around 20,000 people in Wales are problem gamblers and approximately 84,000 are at risk of developing a problem.

Around 30 representatives from organisations including NHS Wales, local authorities, treatment providers and sports bodies met to discuss ways of reducing those numbers. Topics addressed included prevention and treatment services, public health messaging, gambling venues and research.

Bangor University and Public Health Wales have published a report “Framing a public health approach to gambling harms in Wales: Challenges and opportunities” along with a risk index map to help LAs and industry operators to produce local area risk assessments and to use this understanding of local area risk to protect vulnerable people from harm by developing appropriate policies and procedures.

The Gaming Machine (Miscellaneous Amendments and Revocation) Regulations 2018

These Regulations, which amend the B2 gaming machine stakes from £100 to £2 were laid in December and will take effect from 1 April 2019.  Further communications will be issued prior to April.

The changes to stakes on B2 machines will be done via software updates.  In order to test that the software is working effectively, it is known that some operators will undertake a soft launch and introduce the reduced stake on a limited number of machines in early March.

Children’s exposure to age restricted TV adverts is falling

The Advertising Standards Agency recent report shows that children’s exposure to TV ads for alcohol, gambling and food and soft drink products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS products) is declining.

For gambling:

  • Children’s exposure to gambling ads, relative to adults’, has fallen year-on-year from 39% in 2008 to 20% in 2017. That means children see, on average, about one TV ad for gambling for every five seen by adults in 2017
  • Gambling ads made up less than 2% of all the TV ads that children saw on average every year between 2008 and 2017; that equates to approximately 65.2 seconds per week
  • The majority of TV ads for gambling that children have seen since 2011 are ads for bingo, lottery and scratchcards
  • Children’s exposure to ads for sports-betting has decreased from an average of one ad per week in 2011 to 0.4 ads per week in 2017

GamCare Quality Mark for gambling operators

GamCare has launched the new Safer Gambling Standard, a social responsibility quality standard for the gambling industry. The Standard aims to drive up overall standards of social responsibility practice across the gambling industry, making gambling safer for consumers.

The new accreditation sets out to recognise gambling operators who go above and beyond the requirements of gambling industry Licensing Codes and Conditions of Practice (LCCP), comprising 10 sets of assessment criteria for social responsibility across online and land-based operations.


Next: Feature article - Social Bingo