UK problem gambling charity GambleAware has reported a record number of donations in 2016-17 but has failed to reach its fundraising target, prompting the charity to call for the introduction of a statutory levy on betting operators.
The charity raised £8m, 20% short of the annual target of £10m set by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, which advises both the Gambling Commission and the UK government on problem gambling.
GambleAware estimates that there are currently 250,000 people in Britain with a gambling problem with a further 470,000 individuals at risk of developing a problem gambling habit.
However, the charity says that only 3% of at risk individuals needing support are getting it.
In a statement confirming the donation figures, GambleAware Chief Executive Marc Etches said: “We all need to do more to raise awareness of the services available and to ensure sufficient capacity to meet increased demand.
"This requires all businesses that profit from gambling to step up to the plate in the next twelve months to help us achieve our objectives.”
GambleAware currently receives only voluntary donations from UK-based betting operators, who contribute a minimum of 0.1% of their gross gaming yield annually.
Etches added "While we continue to see the merits for maintaining the voluntary system of funding for research, education and treatment, our first priority has to be providing sufficient help for all those who seek it, so we would not hesitate in supporting the commencement of a statutory levy if the voluntary system fails to deliver."