January 9, 2023 4 min read


A Quarter of Betting and Gaming Council’s Funds Will Reach Its Own Causes

According to the Guardian, a quarter of the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) resources will no longer reach GambleAware, the regular charity that was appointed to use the money to tackle gambling harms triggered by the gambling industry’s activities

During its 2020 funding announcement, the BGC pledged it would use GambleAware as the main commissioning agent responsible for spending £100 million ($121 million) by 2024 on projects the charity would select on its own.

BGC’s Members Have Spoken

In the last few months, the council’s main members, William Hill, Bet365, GVC Holdings, and Flutter Entertainment, have decided that the said percentage should be retained by the UK’s industry body for betting and gaming, then further pumped into projects that would be handpicked by the four. 

The BGC, however, has announced that its original stance had not suffered any changes and that GambleAware will receive £110 million ($133 million) by 2024. Nonetheless, GambleAware has spoken about an important change of plans regarding how the money intended for tackling gambling harm would be spent in the future. 

At the moment, the leading commissioner for gambling harms, treatment, and support services in Great Britain is allowed to freely decide the way the money should be spent for handling problems related to gambling harm. This includes anything from doing research and prevention work to developing educational programs and generating more treatment options.

Rishi Sunak Considering a Statutory Levy 

Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith believes that BGC’s “unilateral decision” to see 25% of future funds get taken away from GambleAware in order to fund its own causes “could not set out more clearly the “absolutely essential” need for a statutory levy”. The levy would be used for funding research, education, and treatment to combat gambling harm.

Smith asked for the “racket of the gambling industry” that decides when, how, and how much of the money is spent to deal with gambling harm to be stopped. His appeal comes in the context of the much-anticipated government white paper on gambling prone to be released in the upcoming months. The white paper could introduce a statutory levy on gambling operators that would force them to pay a certain amount into a central fund responsible for commissioning services. The central fund would be run independently. 

The same statutory levy was a no-go under the leadership of former Prime Minister Liz Truss. However, newly elected Rishi Sunak appears to be taking the idea into serious consideration, hence the reason, for the current delay in the white paper’s release.

For the time being, operators pay a voluntary levy for funding education, treatment, and research. Pros believe the voluntary rate should become mandatory by law. A BGC spokesperson explained the Council had gone “beyond” its original pledge and that it would continue to fund the charity and provide it with a total of £110 million ($133 million) by the end of March 2024. 

The spokesperson added that the gambling industry does not have any influence on the way the voluntary funding would be spent by charities, explaining that the industry does not wish to have a say on this matter. Nonetheless, the BGC appears to be “concerned” about GambleAware’s denial to provide public transparency on the way the funds have been spent so far. 

The same BCG representative said that GambleAware “were never intended to receive all of the funding” and that “only the baseline of £100 million” over the course of four years was meant to reach. The additional  £10 million would be provided for the support of a number of additional initiatives, including the YGAM GamCare, a gambling harm prevention program aimed at youngsters. 

In December, GambleAware launched a new Lived Experience Council, gathering people whose lives had been affected by gambling harm. The new council would serve as a new way of showing support for the organization’s strategic plans.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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