Safer Gambling Focus:
The Bingo Association, which represents 98% of all licensed retail bingo clubs in Great Britain, launched an industry-wide Code of Conduct for Safer Gambling in 2015.
Signing up to the Code, entitled Getting It Right
, is a condition of membership and operators share best practice in all aspects of social responsibility.
The Bingo Association launched the licensed bingo sector's first ever, industry-wide, customer self-exclusion scheme in 2016.
The web-based system manages the records of players who have voluntarily requested to be excluded form licensed bingo premises across Great Britain.
To self-exclude from bingo venues, a customer initiates the process by completing and signing a self-exclusion form and providing a digital image of themselves. The customer is interviewed by a trained member of staff to ensure they ensure the consequences of self-exclusion.
The self-exclusion process can be undertaken in person at licensed bingo premises or customers may choose to request self-exclusion without visiting a licensed bingo venue. Once the registration process is complete, the customer's details are added to a secure national database. The bingo industry worked with leading industry membership software developer ISD and SmartEXCLUSION to develop a system that could be easily accessed buy operates.
All operators agreed to take part in the self-exclusion scheme as part of the twelve-point Bingo Association Code of Conduct. It is managed by Cherry Hosking, Company Secretary of The Bingo Association, who was named Compliance Office of The Year at the 2018 Global Regulatory Awards for her role in supporting around 70 operators involved in the scheme.
Other commitments in the Code of Conduct include:
- Taking part in annual age verification tests, to ensure that vetting procedures are being properly followed
- Training all staff on Social Responsibility an problem gambling, ensuring they are aware of all the industry's social responsibility commitments
- Ensuring socially responsible advertising and marketing of products, giving customers clear information to allow them to make informed choices
- Making an annual cash contribution to a gambling harm prevention charity, preferably to GambleAware
The effectiveness of the Code of Conduct is monitored and reviewed through the Standing Compliance Committee of The Bingo Association. All operators commit to adopting industry best practice initiatives through the Industry Group For Safer Gambling (IGRG).