Responsible gambling signage on electronic gaming machines, before and after the implementation of the United Kingdom Gambling Act: An observational study

Abstract

The 2005 Gambling Act in Britain requires all gambling operators to satisfy responsibility codes as a condition of licence, such as signage on electronic machines, and in the venues in which they are located, encouraging responsible gambling and signposting help available. This observational study found that eighteen months prior to the implementation of the Act, only 4.1% of the 1351 electronic machines located in Glasgow City Centre displayed signs promoting responsible gambling and signposting the national Gamcare helpline. One month after the introduction of the Act, which stipulated that all machines must display such signage, this was only evident on 65% of machines. Other responsible gambling signage (posters, signs, leaflets, brochures) was not highly visible in either phase. These findings highlight two important points; first, most sectors of the gambling industry are not embracing the new social responsibility codes (or indeed even adhering to them); and, second, if licensing conditions are not made explicit, as is the case in Britain, the gambling industry can dictate what is meant by "responsible" and so define what measures are sufficient to meet this criteria.

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