GambleAware sends statutory levy plea as donations reach £46.5m

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Entain and Flutter Entertainment accounted for the largest voluntary donations to GambleAware over the past year, but the charity organisation is calling for the UK government to “move with urgency” regarding upcoming consultations for a statutory levy on the gambling industry.

With the total amount received between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023 being £46.5m, Ladbrokes Coral Group (Entain) led the way in contributions with £15.2m, followed by Paddy Power Betfair (Flutter) and Sky Betting & Gaming (Flutter) with £8.2m each.

William Hill donated £4.6m, followed by contributions from bet365 and more Flutter entities. 

Bet365’s Hillside (UK Sports), Hillside (Technology) and Hillside (UK Gaming) contributed £2.4m, £1.7m and £907,000 respectively, while Flutter’s Tombola and TSG Interactive Services/PokerStars UK donated £943,133 and £650,000 respectively.

Camelot UK Lotteries contributed £445,000, followed by Rank Interactive with £194,605, Petfre (Betfred) with £194,632, 888 Holdings with £190,000, BetVictor with £188,772 and Mecca Bingo (Rank) with £122,967.  

GambleAware stated 92 per cent of all donations (£42.9m) in 2022/23 came from the four largest gambling operators in the UK, an uptick compared to the previous year (2021/22: £30.9m) as operators have increased the percentage of gross gambling yield they donate by small amounts from the asked minimum of 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent by 2023/24.

Companies that have an annual GGY of less than £250,000 donate a minimum of £250.

However, with proposals for a statutory levy in the UK Government’s recently released gambling white paper, operators would be legally obliged to provide gambling research, prevention and treatment funding to organisations such as GambleAware in the future, rather than voluntarily donating.

While GambleAware is pleased that a statutory levy is being proposed, the organisation calls for the UK government to “move with urgency” regarding upcoming consultations “to ensure the measures outlined are implemented swiftly, while ensuring voluntary industry donations do not stall or decline during the transition period”.  

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, stated: “As the leading independent charity and strategic commissioner of gambling harm prevention and treatment across Great Britain, funding is key to ensure the effective delivery of the National Gambling Support Network and our many other programmes of work to address and prevent gambling harm.

“We welcome government plans to introduce a statutory levy as outlined in its Gambling White Paper, which will help provide stable funding. We hope that changes will be made swiftly, as any significant delay in moving to the statutory levy risks slowing down the pace at which we have been, and plan to continue, transforming prevention and treatment services as outlined in our five-year organisational strategy.”