UK gambling charity calls for mandatory levy to fund treatment

GambleAware said the current voluntary system led to uncertainty around funding.
GambleAware said the current voluntary system led to uncertainty around funding.

GambleAware has made the call in its submission as part of the UK government’s review of gambling legislation.

UK.- The responsible gambling charity GambleAware has called for the introduction of a mandatory levy on gambling operators to provide stable, predictable funding for problem gambling support and treatment. 

In its submission to the UK Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) review of current gambling legislation, it said a mandatory levy was needed to fund research, education and treatment for gambling-related harm.

See also: GambleAware survey shows increase in problem gamblers seeking support

The UK government invited submissions to its call for evidence when it launched its review of the 2005 Gambling Act in December.

Current legislation requires licensed operators to make donations to responsible gambling programmes, but there is no minimum amount.

GambleAware said it had received £15.6m in voluntary donations in the last twelve months, up by £4.5m year-on-year.

Its submission read: “The voluntary nature of the current arrangements results inevitably in uncertainty of funding year to year and to significant variations in cash flow within the year.

“This unpredictable funding model represents a significant challenge given that a key function of GambleAware as a commissioning body is to provide assurance to funded services about recurrent income streams so that expert clinical teams can be established and sustained to provide treatment and support for those who need help.”

Meanwhile, a recent report commissioned by GambleAware claims to have identified clear links between video game loot boxes and problem gambling.

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