GambleAware reports rise in industry donations

GambleAware has backed calls for a mandatory levy.
GambleAware has backed calls for a mandatory levy.

The responsible gambling body received £49.5m in the last financial year.

UK.- The industry-backed responsible gambling grant-making body GambleAware has reported that it received £49.5m in voluntary donations in 2023/24. That’s a rise from £46.5m for the 2022-23 financial year.

The vast majority of the donations (94 per cent) came from Britain’s four largest gambling operators, who together donated £46.6m, up from £43.5m in the previous year. The donations help fund the body’s commissioning work, public health and education campaigns, training programmes, and prevention and treatment tools.

GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond said: “While we await the implementation of the new statutory levy, donations from the voluntary funding system are key to ensure GambleAware can continue to deliver the essential gambling harm prevention and treatment programmes we commission.”

Gambling operators’ donations to GambleAware remain voluntary. The big four operators had jointly committed to raise the percentage of their gross gambling yield (GGY) donated to RET initiatives from 0.25 per cent in 2019/20 to 1 per cent in 2023/24.

The UK government intends to replace this system with a mandatory gambling levy at 1 per cent on revenue to fund research and treatment. The funds would be managed directly by the NHS.

Osmond noted that the body had backed calls for the change. She said: “For many years we have been calling for the introduction of a statutory levy on the gambling industry and we are pleased the government has committed to delivering this as part of the gambling white paper.

“However, during the transition period it is vital that steps continue to be taken to ensure there is no disruption to existing services and provisions in the wider system as they adapt to the new levy funding model.”

Complaint against GambleAware

Osmond recently defended GambleAware after the Charity Commission began an investigation into a complaint about its ties with the gambling industry. The Good Law Project claimed that GambleAware’s performance had been hindered by its reliance on industry funding.

The complaint argues that GambleAware trustees have failed to meet the charity’s objectives regarding gambling harm education. Filed in March, it reads: “The Charity Commission must take action and investigate whether GambleAware is breaking charity law by failing in their duties to provide unbiased information – accepting the false narrative that gambling is a problem for individuals instead of a problem with the industry. And we’re preparing to take legal action if they refuse.”

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