Data was only made available after the Gambling Business Group submitted a Freedom of Information request.
UK.- The UK Gambling Commission has collected £58.9million in penalties during the five and a half year period between June 2014 and December 2019, according to the results of a public records request from the Gambling Business Group (GBG).
The Gambling Commission has spent £756,997 from that amount covering their own costs in carrying out its investigations. In addition, £24million was paid back to those who fell victim to illegal gambling activity and £34.8million was spent on “socially responsible purposes”.
Peter Hannibal, Chief Executive of the Gambling Business Group, said: “When we first wrote to the then Minister, Tracey Crouch and subsequently requested the information from the Commission, we were informed [by the Gambling Commission] that they did not consider it to be a priority.
“Apart from the straightforward issue of why did it take an FOI request to get this information in the first place, it appears that the Commission does not have an independent process in place for checking whether the funds they have allocated to socially responsible purposes have been spent effectively and have delivered the impact intended.
“This is despite the fact that within the Commission’s own Statement of Principles there is an obligation to meaningfully evaluate the effectiveness of the spend on socially responsible purposes.”
“One of the few things that all stakeholders in UK Gambling can agree on is that all RET [research, education and treatment] financial resources are vitally important and should be spent where they are most effective in reducing and preventing harm. Whether these funds are raised through donations, or via a levy, or as in this case through financial penalties, all funds are equally valuable and should as a result be subject to effective valuation,” he concluded.