GambleAware stresses need to avoid disruption with statutory levy

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GambleAware has revealed the donations it received across 2023/24 as British betting operators contributed heavily to the charity’s total of £49.5m in voluntary donations. 

However, CEO Zoë Osmond has reiterated the message that vital funding for gambling harm prevention and treatment programmes should not be disrupted as services wait for the implementation of the new statutory levy. 

Britain’s largest four gambling operators – bet365, Flutter Entertainment, Entain and William Hill – contributed around 94 per cent of the total figure, donating £46.6m to support GambleAware. 

This figure from the ‘big four’ represents an increase of £3.1m from the operators’ contributions of £43.5m across 2022/23.

Described as essential funding by the organisation, the donations will aid the organisation in encouraging responsible gambling and player protection with public health campaigns, education and training programmes, harm prevention tools, treatment services and research. 

Osmond stated: “While we await the implementation of the new statutory levy, donations from the voluntary funding system are key to ensure GambleAware can continue to deliver the essential gambling harm prevention and treatment programmes we commission.”

GambleAware has long held the belief that the gambling industry “should be held accountable to contribute financially to the vital services that prevent gambling harms,” reinforcing its support of the statutory RET levy proposed by the Gambling Act review.

With the government yet to finalise the levy, funding from operators and other companies within the gambling industry remains the primary source of funding for research, prevention and treatment. 

“For many years, we have been calling for the introduction of a statutory levy on the gambling industry and we are pleased the government has committed to delivering this as part of the Gambling White Paper,” added Osmond.

“However, during the transition period, it is vital that steps continue to be taken to ensure there is no disruption to existing services and provisions in the wider system as they adapt to the new levy funding model.”

GambleAware’s work includes commissioning the National Gambling Support Network and the National Gambling Helpline which takes around 52,000 calls and online chats annually. 

The charity’s donations list for 2023/24 marks the final year pledge made by the ‘big four’ operators in 2020, aiming to increase the percentage of GGY they donate to GambleAware from 0.25 per cent to one per cent.