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The Gambling Industry Fails to Meet GambleAware’s Funding Target

- May 6, 2019 By Oliver Young -

The UK gambling industry has once again failed to meet the target charity donations. Operators were supposed to donate 0.1% share of their gambling revenue, and the target was to collect at least £10 million in charities. The GambleAware revealed a few days ago that the UK gambling operators have donated only £9.6 million over a 12-month period that ended on Match 31st. Compared to the previous year, this is marginally more, however still below this year’s expectations and target donations.

The industry fails to contribute target donations and makes MPs to call for a mandatory levy.

The industry fails to contribute target donations and makes MPs to call for a mandatory levy.

GambleAware’s Statement

The charity warned that the voluntary levy wasn’t giving the targeted donations and supported the call for a ban on credit card gambling with hopes to make operators reconsider their actions. But the data released showed that still only £9.6 million were collected as opposed to the £10 million expected. In addition to presenting the public with a full list of contributions by individual operators, GambleAware shared to have received £7.3 million from the penalties issued by the UK Gambling Commission to UK gambling operators in 2018.

Even though GambleAware won’t be forced to shut down, it has warned the industry that its funding needs to increase and is set to do so under the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms published recently by the UK Gambling Commission.

But the fact remains that many operators have failed to meet their social responsibility obligations, considering that there were those who have paid as little as £1! In its list, the GambleAware presented that GVC Holdings wrote a really big check of £1.46 million, as well as William Hill, £1 million. Bet365 was generous as well, donating £868.000, as well as Paddy Power Betfair with £445,000. Gamesys donated £437,000, 32Red £384,000 and The Stars Group £125,000. Other major names in the industry have given a fair share in contributions, but there were those like E&D Leisure Ltd which donated £5 and those like Gfm Holdings Ltd which donated only £1 in a 12-month period.

The Call for Mandatory Levy

The UK Sports Minister Mims Davies has issued a statement some time ago, praising the existing levy system and stating that this system really works. Now that GambleAware published the real data, the Minister came under fire. Apparently, her statement is contradicting the data published by GambleAware and the UK Gambling Commission, which caught Tom Watson’s eye. The Labour’s Deputy Leader stated that the latest data shows why the Sports Minister is wrong, and again, called for a mandatory levy.

Watson stated the obvious, the fact that these gambling companies make billions and are avoiding to pay even 0.1% to support treatment, research and education on gambling harms. The pity contributions by some companies and the absolute absence of others from the itemized list is actually an insult to the whole voluntary system and that’s why this system must be made mandatory. The £10 million target is already below what the industry should actually contribute, given their annual revenue is £14.4 billion and the 0.1% would require from them to pay £14.4 million.

Carolyn Harris, Labour’s MP said that they have always known that without a mandatory levy the industry would only pay lip service to donate to rehab and treatment. But a spokesman for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport apparently stated that unless the industry sticks to the voluntary system and meets the targets, they will look at other alternatives and everything is on the table.

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