Liberal Democrats Party Call for Gambling Industry Overhaul
Liberal Democrats have called for the end of ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’ campaign.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the end of the ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’ campaign that is run by charity GambleAware. The Party want to see an overhaul of the UK gambling industry and believe the current campaign is fueling a “gambling crisis” in the UK.
The party, which has 19 currently serving MPs, have long championed more robust regulation of the industry and they were leading figures in the successful campaign to introduce caps on fixed-odds betting terminals.
Former Liberal Democrat MP John Leech who led the campaign against the FOBT’s, wants the charity to remove the word “fun” removing from the GambleAware’s slogan and also wants a ban on in-play betting during sporting events.
Calling the campaign “crass”, Leech said the Liberal Democrats would continue their work to overhaul the gambling industry and would tackle adverts which Leech stated encouraged ‘penny to pound gambling.’ Leech said of the GambleAware slogan;
‘When The Fun Stops, Stop’ slogan is not working, and it could be exacerbating the national gambling crisis. It’s time to scrap the slogan because let’s be honest, by the time ‘the fun stops’, you are already dangerously addicted.– John Leech, Liberal Democrat
Leech’s comments came as members of the House of Lords met as part of a review into the economic and social impact of the gambling industry in the UK. Speaking at the enquiry, Leech called on the Lords and MPs to “disregard any vested interests” and collaboratively work together towards a bold solution.
Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur backed Leech’s calls for a change to the GambleAware slogan and warned the charity’s message was in danger of becoming background noise. McArthur said he believed the new message should contain more information on gambling harm and should be more direct at offering options for customers if they are worried about their gambling. He added that stopping is part of the solution, but it can prove difficult to stop, and the current philosophy doesn’t “directly address this issue”.
GambleAware this summer launched the second wave of their ‘Bet Regret’ campaign which added the phrase ‘think twice’ to the slogan.
Despite the calls for the change to GambleAware’s slogan, the organisation claim their campaigns have been successful. The charity point to research that shows a 61% recognition rate between the campaign’s target audience, which is 16-34-year-old men who bet twice a week.
GambleAware also states that their ‘Bet Regret’ message had a greater awareness rating than their long-standing ‘When the fun stops, stop’ campaign.