June 20, 2023 3 min read


NHS England, GambleAware Welcome Statutory Levy on Industry

NHS England and GambleAware stand in favor of the White Paper proposal for a statutory levy to replace voluntary donations

NHS England, the public body of the Department of Health and Social Care, and GambleAware, the independent charity working to keep people safe from gambling harm in Great Britain, came out with a joint statement, welcoming the statutory levy on operators.

Boost RET Funding

The statutory levy on operators was part of the White Paper proposals seeking to boost funding for gambling research, education and treatment (RET) and is expected to replace the current system based on voluntary donations.

NHS England’s National Clinical Advisor on Gambling Harms, Prof. Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, outlined in her comments the statutory levy’s “potential to finally ensure the independence of funding for treatment and research programs, as well as for prevention initiatives to address gambling harm.”

“It must be implemented without delay in order for fully integrated treatment pathways to be established,” Bowden-Jones said, emphasizing the NHS commitment to continue the long-standing collaboration with GambleAware throughout the interim period “to ensure that all patients in need of gambling treatment are accessing the service that they need.”

Besides the recognition of the constructive relationship with GambleAware, Bowden-Jones expressed the body’s “commitment to working with non-statutory providers of gambling treatment across the country,” noting that NHS England does not seek to be the only provider of gambling treatment on a national level.

Key to Delivering Efficient Service

GambleAware’s chief executive officer, Zoë Osmond, welcomed the statement from the NHS, seeing it as a confirmation of the long-standing and constructive collaboration between the two bodies.

“In our role as leading charity and strategic commissioner, partnership with those across the healthcare sector is vital,” Osmond said, looking forward to continuing work with the NHS to “ensure people are able to seamlessly access the services they need.”

Osmond also pointed to the charity’s collaborations with DCMS, DHSC, OHID, and the Gambling Commission and the key role these relationships play in helping GambleAware deliver “efficient and effective service” through the National Gambling Support Network.

“We welcome the introduction of a statutory levy on the industry to provide certainty and stability of funding, which will allow us and others to make long-term commitments to meet the needs of the population,” she concluded.

The joint statement represents a change of tone about the White Paper proposals that were subjected to stern criticism by public health specialists and anti-gambling advocates upon the document’s release.

GambleAware also joined the choir of critics, alongside GamCare and Gordon Moody, in sharing their concerns over rising addiction rates in the country.

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