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Silvia Pavlof July 28, 2023 2 min read
UK Gambling Commission Commits £32.8M to Support GambleAware
The funds will be channeled into the creation of a "system stabilization fund," providing critical support to GambleAware's services
In a move to ensure a smooth transition from voluntary funding to a statutory levy, the UK Gambling Commission has pledged a staggering £32.8 million ($41.9 million) to harm prevention charity GambleAware.
GambleAware Backs Proposed Statutory Levy for Funding Stability
The concept of a statutory levy was introduced as a key proposal in the Gambling Act review White Paper, which made its debut in April. The recent opening of consultations for four crucial issues addressed in the review paper has further fueled the discussions.
The UK Gambling Commission launched consultations seeking opinions from various stakeholders in the gambling sector, including operators, health experts, and consumers, regarding proposed changes to the Gambling Act. The consultations will cover areas such as age verification, customer choice in direct marketing, remote game design, and financial risk and vulnerability, among others.
Chief executive of GambleAware, Zoë Osmond, has been a vocal proponent of the proposed statutory levy, emphasizing the much-needed certainty and stability it would bring to the organization’s funding landscape.
The allocation of the substantial £32.8 million ($41.9 million) will focus on stabilizing and reinforcing GambleAware’s existing efforts in tackling gambling harm, with an emphasis on prevention, support, and treatment services. Additionally, the charity aims to address inequalities in gambling harm treatment, working towards equalizing outcomes, experiences, and accessibility.
Commission Ensures Transparency: Annual Reports to Detail Funding Expenditure for GambleAware
GambleAware plans to develop an integrated system and enhance service accessibility through comprehensive research initiatives. The funding allocation will focus on three key research areas: building a robust evidence base for understanding gambling harms, conducting system research to optimize resource allocation, and facilitating evidence dissemination for knowledge sharing.
To maintain transparency and accountability, the Commission has announced that comprehensive details on the expenditure of the funding will be made available through a series of annual reports.
Currently, operators are encouraged to donate a minimum of 0.1% of their gross gambling yield (GGY) to support GambleAware’s initiatives. However, under the proposed statutory levy, this contribution would become obligatory, leaving no room for voluntary contributions. Even smaller operators, with an annual GGY below £250,000, would be required to donate a fixed amount of £250.
The introduction of the statutory levy has garnered significant support from prominent entities, including NHS England and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). The BGC has firmly endorsed the idea, provided that the system remains independent and extends its scope to include land-based operators as well.