GambleAware echoes calls for mandatory levy

Government

Government

GambleAware has reiterated calls for the introduction of a one per cent levy on gross gambling yield on the industry as a condition of licence that it says could raise $140m per year.

The charity asserts that the growing cost-of-living crisis, ongoing financial impact of the pandemic, and shift to online “means there could be an increased risk of people experiencing gambling harms”.

This comes as one part of six principle outlined by GambleAware regarding which it states “needs to be done to prevent gambling harms,” adding that the industry “should take the necessary and responsible steps” by committing the aforementioned figure to treatment, prevention, and research.

Despite many industry incumbents offering voluntary contributions, GambleAware believes that a mandatory funding model would provide stability and “enable better longer-term planning and commissioning for services to prevent gambling harms”.

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive Officer at GambleAware, explained: “The ongoing impact of the pandemic, a growing cost-of-living crisis and shift to online gambling means there is a potential increased risk of people experiencing gambling harms that remains unseen until an individual reaches a crisis point.

“Without action now, many more people and families could suffer. That’s why we are calling on the government to introduce a mandatory, one per cent levy of GGY on the gambling industry as a condition of licence. 

“This could be delivered in a matter of months and could almost treble the amount of funding going to preventing and treating gambling harms.”

Alongside calls for a mandatory levy to be imposed as a licence condition, the group is also urging that support be delivered to those most at risk by reducing inequalities, as well as delivering tailored prevention and support to local needs and reaching the most deprived communities.

Furthermore, a plea for an “an agile, data-led, and innovation-driven approach to prevention and treatment” is issued, as the charity adds that a “coalition of expertise is needed to deliver the broad spectrum of research, prevention and treatment locally and nationally”

Finally, GambleAware’s final principle states that “investments in the gambling industry should be scrutinised through a health, environmental, social and governance lens in the same way as other harm-causing sectors” in a bid to force long-term change.

Author: Ava Harvey