GambleAware has published details of donations for the 12 months ending 31 March 2022. The total for voluntary donations from the gambling industry is £34.7 million.
The leading “Big Four” operators are responsible for donating 89% (£30.9 million) of the total donations for the year. This is reflective of their previous commitment to raise the percentage of GGY they donate from 0.1% in increments to 1% by 2023/2024.
Although the total figure donated across the industry equates to nearly £15 million more than the donations received in 2020/21, it remains significantly short of the estimated amount a mandatory levy would raise. This reflects the uncertain and inconsistent approach to the funding of treatment, prevention, and research of gambling harms across the industry. GambleAware is calling for a funding model which is no longer voluntary, but instead mandatory, to provide stable funding and best-in-class solutions to prevent gambling harms. Such a funding model would enable better longer-term planning and commissioning for services to prevent gambling harms.
Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said: “These donations fund essential services for the prevention of gambling harms, helping build a coalition of expertise to tackle and prevent gambling harms across Great Britain. We welcome the commitment from the ‘Big Four’ operators to increase their donations over the coming years, however, there remains an inconsistent approach to funding across the wider gambling industry, which leads to uncertainty and instability.
“That’s why we are calling on the Government to introduce a mandatory levy on the gambling industry as a condition of licence. The gambling industry should take the necessary and responsible steps by matching its success to the scale of gambling harms risk, especially at a time of rising financial and economic hardship across the country. This would commit much more funding to treatment, prevention, and research per year – and could be delivered in a matter of months.”