GamCare publishes new code of conduct for land-based venues

Gambling harm support charity GamCare has announced a new code of conduct that focuses primarily on land-based operators.


The code builds on GamCare's Industry Code for the Display of Safer Gambling Information, which launched in 2020 and centres on gambling apps and websites in the UK.

The new code was developed in consultation with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the Bingo Association and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association.

It states that land-based gambling venues must display QR codes, which are linked to GamCare webpages and offer safer gambling information and support. It is advised that a QR code is displayed at least once in each area of the venue.

The QR codes form part of GamCare's introduction of discreet resources. In the code documentation, a QR code example is given wherein it is the size of a business card and can be easily stowed away by a customer. It also features the National Gambling Helpline number on the back.

“At GamCare, we know that callers to the National Gambling Helpline regularly cite issues from land-based gambling and that more can be done to support people within the land-based gambling sector,” said Matt Burgiss, industry codes project manager at GamCare.

“We hope this new code of conduct will improve the consistency of safer gambling messaging whilst also signposting into relevant support organisations, so that those at-risk of gambling harm are comfortable coming forward and seeking help.”

The code iterates that safer gambling information must be easily accessible and visible in all areas of the venue. The code advises that the information should be digestible, concise, readable and contain visuals to make it more appealing.

In the instance where a customer asks to be self-excluded, states that they are considering self-exclusion or tries to breach their self-exclusion, the venue must offer them a leaflet containing safer gambling information.

Leaflets must, at a minimum, contain information on safer gambling, where to get further support, safer gambling tools, self-exclusion and how to access safer gambling self-assessments.

“The BGC is proud to welcome this new GamCare code which will guarantee prominent, visible and easily accessible signposting to safer gambling information on help and support in all our members’ land-based gaming venues,” said Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council. “This vital code is concrete evidence of this industry’s determination to drive up safer gambling standards for millions of customers, wherever they bet in the UK, and follows similar work from our online members.

“These measures ensure safer gambling information is consistently displayed in all BGC member’s venues so customers find it easy to view the National Gambling Helpline and access further guidance on support, including individual operator’s own safer gambling tools.”