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GambleAware CEO responds to conclusion of statutory levy consultation

The CEO of charity GambleAware, Zoë Osmond, has given her thoughts on the consultation. 

GambleAware response
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The consultation on the structure, distribution and governance of the statutory levy on gambling operators has now been closed and GambleAware has released a statement regarding it. 

Zoë Osmond began the statement by saying: “GambleAware welcomes the introduction of a statutory industry levy to fund gambling harms research, prevention and treatment (RPT). This is something we have long called for and it marks an important step-change in efforts to tackle gambling harms.” 

This desire for a statutory levy was seen back in 2017 when GambleAware reported a record number of donations in 2016-17 but failed to reach its fundraising target. 

Osmond goes on to explain that for the levy to be effective, a National Strategy for the Prevention and Treatment of Gambling Harms must be developed, and GambleAware would prefer to have a single Prevention and Treatment Commissioner. 

The statement explains that: “The current proposed funding allocations do not adequately reflect the potential population-level benefits of shifting spend upstream to focus more on prevention and early intervention, which is at the heart of a public health approach.” 

It also makes reference to the definitions of treatment and prevention used in the consultation, saying they fail to recognise that prevention is broken into three different approaches, namely: primary, secondary and tertiary, which continue through to treatment and care. 

Osmond finishes the statement by saying: “Lastly, a smooth and stable transition to the new system is vital. Leaning on the established expertise of the third sector will be critical, and clarity on funding for both GambleAware and the wider sector is urgently needed to prevent any disruption to the existing support and treatment services, which help hundreds of people every day.   

“We hope these issues will be addressed so that the transformational potential of the levy can be realised, and we can truly secure a society free from gambling harms."   

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