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Angel Hristov January 5, 2024 3 min read
GambleAware Weighs in on the Statutory Levy Consultations
GambleAware hopes that the sector can finally move on from the debates about dependence and funding
GambleAware’s chief executive officer, Zoë Osmond, has weighed in on the statutory levy consultations, expressing her excitement about the measure. However, she also had a few points to make.
For reference, the levy would require all operators in the UK to provide a portion of their revenues for gambling harm research and treatment and was among the measures outlined in the Gambling Act white paper.
Osmond said that GambleAware has been waiting for this measure for years and is happy to finally see it happen. The charity sector previously depended on voluntary donations but will now have some much-needed security.
The CEO of GambleAware added that she hopes that the sector can finally move on from the “unhelpful distraction” of heated discussions about dependence and funding.
In the meantime, Osmond said that the Levy can potentially transform the charity sector, helping more people across Britain get access to gambling harm treatment. However, she noted that there are a number of “core elements in the proposed approach” that her team believes could negatively impact the provision of services.
Osmond Had a Few Points to Make
Osmond started by mentioning that GambleAware supports the creation of a National Strategy for the Prevention and Treatment of Gambling Harms. While this was not a part of the proposals, GambleAware believes that one is absolutely needed to transform the system of prevention and treatment.
In addition, GambleAware would prefer if there be a single Prevention and Treatment Commissioner tasked with increasing awareness of societal issues and accessibility of gambling harm treatment services across the country. In the absence of such a commissioner, GambleAware believes that it is essential that the Treatment and Prevention Commissioners work together to ensure that the system is working as intended.
Osmond also believes that the current proposed funding allocations do not adequately reflect GambleAware’s desire to focus more on prevention and early intervention than on treatment.
In order to have a meaningful impact on gambling harm at a population level across Great Britain, prevention must be reprioritized with additional funding. At a minimum, there should be an equal focus on both prevention and treatment.Zoë Osmond, CEO, GambleAware
Osmond also noted that the current definitions of treatment and prevention used in the consultation do not recognize that prevention is broken into primary, secondary and tertiary approaches. The current proposals define interventions as Tier 1 and Tier 2 prevention and put them under the authority of the Treatment Commissioner.
Osmond recommended the co-commissioning of these interventions, including the helpline. She also proposed that the launch of national public awareness campaigns and digital early interventions should be included within the remit of the Prevention Commissioner.
Finally, Osmond once again emphasized the need for a smooth transition to the new system. She warned that failing to do that might deprive the third sector of funding and disrupt the availability of services.
Osmond concluded that she hopes her concerns will be addressed so that the levy reaches its full transformational potential.