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Is Christmas the best time for a responsible gambling campaign?

Maybe it is just the cynicism creeping into my bones at the grand old age of 25, but there is no point telling people not to overindulge when they choose to gamble at this time of year. 

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Any attempt to make any sort of campaign would be fruitless: there is nothing to tell people they are not already acutely aware of.

Take an average working day for me: it is about 7.50pm in the evening, I’m meandering down the last couple of roads before I get home; it is cold, it is probably raining and a bit windy.

It is winter, Christmas is right around the corner, money is tight and it is probably the same for most people. The only thing I want right at that point is to switch off, have that one bag of crisps too many and relax and do something like playing some silly video game for an hour.

All of those things I probably shouldn’t do, not because playing my Nintendo Switch is a particularly bad thing, but because I should probably do housework or generally be more productive.

But I don’t; I indulge, I ignore my chores, I eat far too many rice cakes and I definitely can’t get past that damn shrine in the Legend of Zelda. 

I’m not breaking the bank and I feel like that is how a lot of people are at this time of the year. Away from the festivities, it is tough, they just want to relax and get Christmas done without running out of funds.

Telling people not to overindulge when they gamble at this time of the year is, in essence, telling people to be aware of money at Christmas. If you are going to be that pedantic, you might as well package it with a tutorial on how to breathe.

There are so many wiser times to do this. How about summer when the weather is nice, the days are longer and being outside doesn’t feel like a Bushtucker Trial?

That is where people might be tempted into being a bit reckless and a campaign for safer gambling at that time of the year would be a good idea.

Take for instance the European Championships next summer: to avoid a spike in any beer-soaked pride leading to an excited bet that someone cannot actually afford. Or perhaps the Olympic Games, where the excitement of the sheer occasion of it all could lead to a need for people to hold back.

As for any temptation for safer gambling campaigns, well of course I can partly understand why, it is a big time of the year and it might seem like a good idea to try and capitalise on the festivities by trying to warn people.

It is Christmas, there are adverts blaring out everywhere, so I can understand why those worried about people overindulging in gambling might not want to see this time of the year go without something to counterbalance the general tone of being encouraged to spend.

But looking at the contextual factors that will likely surround people at this time of the year, I personally just don’t understand it. 

This should not be seen as a negative thing: by avoiding campaigns at a time where people are not likely to listen, companies can save resources.

This is no criticism, merely pointing out funds could be better allocated. I don’t think people will listen at this time of the year: the last thing you need is someone else highlighting yet another thing to keep in mind.

Let people relax; anything you tell them they are already hugely aware of, so perhaps just let them worry that little bit less during the festive period.

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