GambleAware issues renewed call for mandatory levy

GambleAware has called for a mandatory 1% levy on gross gambling yield (GGY) in a renewed push for reform.

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Given the UK’s current economic climate, the charity insists there is “a potential increased risk of people experiencing gambling harms.”

In response, GambleAware published six principles that constitute its agenda for change.

Among these principles is the aforementioned levy, which the charity says should serve as a licensing condition.

It stated: “The gambling industry should take the necessary and responsible steps in response to rising financial and economic hardship across the country by committing at least 1% of GGY to treatment, prevention and research – raising £140m ($175m) annually.”

While many industry members already contribute on a voluntary basis to these causes, GambleAware believes a mandatory levy would “provide stability and the best-in-class solutions to prevent gambling harms,” adding that “such a funding model would enable better longer-term planning and commissioning for services.”

“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,” said Zoë Osmond, GambleAware’s CEO.

“Without action now, many more people and families could suffer. That’s why we are calling on the Government to introduce a mandatory, 1% levy of GGY on the gambling industry as a condition of licence.”

Alongside a mandatory levy, GambleAware set out five other principles. These include support for deprived communities, which it states are most at-risk when it comes to gambling harm, delivering local prevention and treatment services and assuming a “data-led and innovation-driven” approach.

The charity’s remaining two principles outline a “coalition of expertise” and for gambling industry investments to be scrutinised through a health, environmental, social and governance lens.

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