GambleAware has revealed that for the first year it has exceeded the charity’s minimum target of £10m in voluntary donations, receiving £10.5m.

These figures come after details of the donations for the 12 months ending 31 March 2020 were published. The funding provided by the industry enables GambleAware to commission a coherent, coordinated and efficient system of prevention and treatment to keep people across England, Scotland and Wales safe from gambling harms.

Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, explained: “For the tenth year in a row, we have seen an increase in donations, which means for the first time, we have been able to meet our minimum target of £10m. 

“Commissioning a coherent, coordinated and efficient system of prevention and treatment requires the strategic distribution of sufficient funding, guided by appropriate expertise underpinned by effective partnership working.”

Working in partnership with expert organisations and agencies, including the NHS, these donations fund a range of services, including the National Gambling Treatment Service, which includes the National Gambling Helpline.

Etches concluded: “GambleAware is currently the primary commissioner using best-practice to ensure that evidence informed services are developed according to need within a robust and accountable system, and that funding is allocated efficiently and independently as one would expect of other health and social care commissioning and grant-making bodies.

“Our mission is to keep people safe from gambling harm and these donations are vital to making sure we are able to deliver on that mission. Gambling is a serious public health issue in Great Britain, with two million adults experiencing some level of gambling harm. 

“With these donations, we are able to continue funding the National Gambling Treatment Service to provide treatment for those who need it, while working in partnership with the NHS and Citizens Advice amongst others.”

GVC Holdings, the umbrella group for Ladbrokes and Coral, topped the list of donations to the charity after contributing £1.46m, followed by Flutter Entertainment and William Hill, which both contributed £1m.

Bet365 and Sky Betting and Gaming were also high on the list of donors with £868,000 and £705,000 respectively, as the Rank Group‘s effort were stipulated as £568,900 for the year.

Grosvenor contributed £309,100, followed by Mecca Bingo which donated £173,900., the online division of Grosvenor, gave £23,500 while donated £62,400.

For the year, GambleAware received £1.44 million in regulatory settlement from Playtech, LeoVegas and Gamesys (Gibraltar) Limited.

LeoVegas was penalised by the UK Gambling Commission for failings relating to misleading advertising and the handling of customers at the end of their self-exclusion period, and agreed to pay £600,000 to the charity.

Gamesys was reprimanded by the UKGC for failing to prevent gambling harm and breaching money laundering regulations, and agreed to make a payment of £690,000 in lieu of a financial penalty.

Following publication the Betting and Gaming Council commented: “We are pleased that our members have stepped up their funding of GambleAware along with a range of other charities to increase the help and support available to those at risk.

“Our largest members have gone further and committed up to an additional £100 million to research, education and treatment over the next four years, increasing donations from 0.1% of profit to 1% of profit.

“With a continued focus on advertising, it is good to see £3.8 million raised from the industry for the Bet Regret campaign which amplifies safer gambling messages and also has the support of major media partners. This work and funding will continue in 2020/21.

“Through continued funding by our industry over more than 20 years charitable services are able to provide free of charge treatment, support & advice services for anyone affected by gambling.”