Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by GamCare

  GamCare, a registered charity, has become the leading authority on the provision of information, advice and practical help in addressing the social impact of gambling in the UK. We strive to develop strategies that will:

    —    Improve the understanding of the social impact of gambling;

    —    Promote a responsible approach to gambling; and

    —    Address the needs of those adversely affected by a gambling dependency.

  GamCare operates the UK telephone helpline for anyone affected by a gambling problem as well as a network of regional counselling centres.

  GamCare works closely with the Government, regulators and industry, promoting social responsibility and player protection in an attempt to minimise the potential for harm.

  Contrary to media suggestion GamCare has not received a significant number of calls to the national telephone helpline relating to problematic participation in TV quiz games. This does not mean that individuals are not experiencing difficulty as a result of their participation, many factors can influence whether or not calls will be made to the helpline.

  GamCare maintains the position that TV quiz shows whilst possibly falling into a legislative "grey" area do offer a gaming experience to the public and as such should be operated in a responsible manner.

  GamCare would be keen to see the following implemented by anyone operating TV quiz games in an attempt to minimise the potential for harm and to ensure that anyone who does develop a problem can access help:

    —    Clear indication of the cost of participation;

    —    Statement of the importance of only spending money one can afford to lose;

    —    Recommendation that individuals set themselves a limit both in relation to money and time spent participating;

    —    Fair messages identifying the likelihood of a call being successful;

    —    Not encouraging the "one more call" or "maybe next time" belief that continued calling will necessarily result in success;

    —    Providing a clear statement of the age restriction on participation; and

    —    Identifying sources of help and advice (GamCare helpline and/or website) for those people who are concerned about their own or somebody else's participation.

  Further information on GamCare and its services can be found at www.gamcare.org.uk

16 November 2006





 
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