The chief executive of GambleAware made the call after the British National Health Service announced it will no longer accept funds from charities connected to the gambling industry.
UK.- GambleAware chief executive Zoe Osmond has renewed her call for the British government to introduce a mandatory levy on gambling operators to fund problem gambling research, education and treatment.
Restating a call that GambleAware made in its submission to the government’s ongoing review of gambling legislation, she said current voluntary programmes are no longer fit for purpose.
Osmond’s call follows reports GambleAware will no longer be able to work with the British National Health Service (NHS).
The Times reported at the weekend that as of the next financial year starting in April, the NHS will no longer accept funding or donations from charities that have connections with the gambling sector.
The decision throws doubt on the future of the NHS’s relationship with GambleAware, which co-funded the launch of the NHS problem gambling service in 2019.
GambleAware contributed £1m to open a problem gambling clinic in Leeds and worked with the NHS to launch similar dedicated clinics in London, Manchester and Sunderland.
While Osmond insisted on GambleAware’s independence, she said that in light of the NHS decision, a mandatory levy on operators was essential to avoid such concerns about the integrity of gambling harm support programmes and ensure full transparency.
She said: “GambleAware has long called for the creation of a mandatory funding model to address gambling harms to ensure all operators are held accountable.
“GambleAware is an independent charity, working to deliver the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. We recognise that a whole system approach is needed which involves a coordinated and coherent approach, in partnership with others including the NHS.
“We support a mandatory levy of 1 per cent GGY across all operators to ensure consistency and transparency across the industry. Having such a system in place would provide the sustainable funding which is vital for the delivery of research, treatment and prevention. We look forward to the outcome of the Government White Paper.”