GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Operator Tax
GambleAware, the UK responsible gambling charity, has published its submission for the Call for Evidence to the Department of Digital Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) in response to the Gambling Act review. It’s hoping that its submission will have an impact on changes made to the 2005 Gambling Act.
At present, GambleAware is funded through voluntary donations from the gambling industry. However, the charity is calling for a mandatory tax to fund its research, education and treatment programs.
Under British law, operators are obligated to donate funds to responsible gambling initiatives, but there is no minimum amount. As a result, there is always a great deal of uncertainty regarding funding for charities such as GambleAware.
Over the last 12 months, the charity has received £15.6 million from the donation. In June 2020, the Betting Gambling Council promised the charity £100m for the next four years. GambleAware is not the only organization calling for a mandatory tax. The NHS recently called for a compulsory tax on operators to fund treatment.
The submission from GambleAware also claims that gambling has become a part of everyday life for children and young adults. Backing this up are figures from the NHS that show that hospital admissions related to gambling issues have doubled in the past six years. Gambling harm in young adults is mainly associated with an increase in mental health issues, while children can also suffer if their parents have gambling problems.
Furthermore, studies have found that there is an increased amount of gambling amongst people ages 17 to 20, in particular more of them are playing the lottery and scratch cards, while there is also evidence that online gambling has increased in the same demographic
GambleAware is calling for the integration of messages about safer gambling in all communication from operators, including those on social media, so that safety becomes an integral part of the business.