Betting and Gaming Council unveils new ‘cooling-off’ measures for LBOs

13 November 2019

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the new representative body for the UK gambling industry, has announced new measures to help identify and reduce potential problem gambling in licensed betting offices (LBOs).

Among the new measures is the Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS), a real-time algorithm that will run on gaming machines in shops, identifying areas of player behaviour that could indicate harmful play.

Such behaviour will trigger an alert on-screen and force the player to take an in-play break from the game. In addition, staff will be alerted to the situation, which will allow for responsible gambling interactions (RGI) as and when appropriate.

The BGC said APAS forms part of the delivery of the ‘protecting and empowering customers’ work in the ‘Safer Gambling Commitments’, a new initiative unveiled last week.

“The Betting and Gaming Council has as its mission statement raising standards and this technology will create an environment that promotes safer play,” BGC chairman Brigid Simmonds commented.

BGC interim chief executive Wes Himes added: “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.”

First announced in July, the BGC officially launched last week, replacing the now-wound up Remote Gambling Association and Association of British Bookmakers.

Upon launching, the BGC announced that £10m (€11.7m/$12.8m) of funding would be provided for a national education programme designed and delivered by the charities GamCare and YGam. The initiative will run for years and target children and young people.

The initiative forms part of the wider Safer Gambling Commitments, which has been designed to support the GB Gambling Commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

Aspers, bet365, Caesars, Flutter Entertainment (Paddy Power Betfair), Genting, GVC (Ladbrokes and Coral), Playtech, Rank Group, Sky Betting & Gaming and William Hill are among the operators to have signed up to support the scheme.