Entain, the operator behind household names like Ladbrokes Bingo and Gala Bingo, have recently made changes to their sites as part of their long term safer gambling strategy which bring player protection to the fore.
One of the changes is obvious to everyone – instead being hidden away in the footer, the link to Safer Gambling content is in the main menu which appears at the top of the page on desktop and in the “hamburger” on mobile.
To see the rest of the changes, you’ll need to have an account at one of the sites. Click on the tiny profile picture to see a pop up (full screen or sidebar depending on screen size) of your Hub.
Here, you can access all your account information in one place; the Banking area allows you to deposit, withdraw and manage your payment methods and the Account area lets you look at your active promotions, account details and support history plus your gaming transaction history and profit and loss for the last 3 days, 7 days, 30 days or 12 months on bingo, casino or both shown as a bar chart. (You can’t actually see 12 months worth of data at the moment though as it’s only available from 1st November 2021).
Newly added to the Hub is the Player Protection area and it’s here that you’ll find all the gambling controls.
The very first thing you will see when you go into the Player Protection area is the Immediate Stop button right at the top of the list; hit this emergency stop to trigger an instant 24 hour time out that can’t be reversed.
The other safer gambling tools go FAR beyond what is required by the Gambling Commission. They are organised into three sections; spending controls, time management and account closure & reopening.
Spending controls settings
- Deposit Limits – Set, view and edit daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits. Increases do not take effect for 24 hours.
- Max Stake Limits – Set, view and edit stake limits for slot spins and (if applicable) for sports bets.
- Deposit Curfew – Block yourself from making deposits at specified times (seen here at Foxy Bingo but available at all Entain sites). Configure by days of the week or set a date range; in both cases you can also set time of day.
Time management settings
- Reality Check – an explanation of the mandatory 60 minute reality check with the option to make it happen more often.
- Play Breaks – You can schedule Play Breaks at specified intervals. For example, let’s suppose you schedule a half hour Play Break after 2 hours of play. That would mean that if you played for 2 hours straight (at least one bet every 5 minutes) you would then have 30 minutes of being unable to deposit or play. You could still look around the site and/or make a withdrawal (but maybe getting away from the screen entirely would be a better idea!).
Account closure options
Finally there is a set of options for getting away from gambling temporarily or permanently.
- I want to block a product on my account – you could, for example, block casino if you felt your slots play was getting out of control, but continue to play bingo.
- I want to close my account – this is the option for a player who wants to close their account for a reason that’s not related to problem gambling
- I want to take a break for up to 6 weeks – all gambling sites have to include this tool. In the Entain version, you select the period you want from a drop down menu.
- Immediate Stop – the option you already saw at the top of the list
- I want to close my account as I might have a gambling problem – this brings up a screen with a link to Gamstop as well as an account closure button.
The vast majority of bingo and slots player will never need any of this, of course. Gambling Commission statistics for the 12 months ending June 2021 show that while 25% of adults gamble online, the problem gambling rate is just 0.4%.
What’s interesting is that for that same year, the “moderate risk” rate (people who aren’t yet problem gamblers but are at risk of becoming so) is just half of what it was the previous year (it’s gone from 1.4% to 0.7%) and it seems highly likely that industry changes such as the credit card ban and slot game design changes have helped with that.
All of these player protection measures that Entain have introduced are bound also to have a helpful effect. They make safer gambling tools really easy for players to access and use (without having to speak to anyone about it first, which a player in the early stages of developing a problem may not be ready to do) and the extra options encourage players to take control of their gambling behaviour well before it becomes a problem. Big kudos to Entain for introducing all of the extras!