UK flag
Image: Shutterstock

A statutory levy must be implemented “without delay in order for fully integrated treatment pathways to be established,” declared Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, National Clinical Advisor on Gambling Harms.

As a maintained partnership with GambleAware was detailed by NHS England, Bowden-Jones has called on the levy, a key facet of the recent Gambling Act white paper, to be introduced as a matter of urgency.

A consultation regarding a levy to fund research, education and treatment will determine design, including the total amount to be raised and its fair and proportionate construction. It will also consider the varying harm associated with different sectors and their fixed costs. 

Funds collected will be distributed by the UK Gambling Commission under the guidance of treasury and DCMS ministers.

“The statutory levy agreed in the recent gambling white paper has the potential to finally ensure the independence of funding for treatment and research programmes, as well as for prevention initiatives to address gambling harms,” she said.

In addition, NHS England has also vowed to maintain the aforementioned association alongside GambleAware amid a “commitment to continue the longstanding and constructive work”.

“In the interim period until the levy is distributed, the NHS has a commitment to continue the longstanding and constructive work with GambleAware to ensure that all patients in need of gambling treatment are accessing the service that they need,” Bowden-Jones continued.

“The NHS has no wish to be the sole provider of all gambling treatment at national level, on the contrary it is committed to working with non-statutory providers of gambling treatment across the country.”

Zoë Osmond, CEO of the charity, addressed a “positive and constructive working relationship” alongside NHS England, with this, and other work, to continue in a bid to ensure that people are able to access the services they need.

“Through our commissioning of the National Gambling Support Network, we look forward to continuing to work closely with the NHS to ensure people are able to seamlessly access the services they need,” Osmond commented.

“Gambling is a serious public health issue which can affect anyone. As commissioner, we work closely with DCMS, DHSC, OHID, the Gambling Commission and NHS England to ensure efficient and effective service delivery across the country.

“We welcome the introduction of a statutory levy on the industry to provide certainty and stability of funding, which will allow us and others to make long-term commitments to meet the needs of the population.”