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GamCare Calls UK Proposed Gambling Levy a Generational Shift

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GamCare, a leading provider of support services for gamblers, has issued a response to the UK government's proposed gambling levy which forms part of the White Paper on changes to gambling legislation in the region. The charity believes the levy could signify a “generational shift” in dealing with gambling-related harm depending on how the changes are implemented.

The Proposed Levy to Support NHS

The proposed Levy in the White Paper consultation states that gaming operators in the UK will pay a percentage of their gross gambling yield, which will be 1% for online casino operators and 0.4% for retail betting shops and casinos.

Once collected, the government will distribute the funds from the levy to organizations focusing on gambling research, education, and treatment for gambling-related problems throughout the UK, with three commissioners to oversee how the money is to be dispersed. It is estimated that the levy will raise more than £100 million by 2027, and a large part of this money will go to the NHS which has been described as the main source of treatment for the treatment of gambling issues.

The government held a consultation period earlier this year where it asked all stakeholders in the gaming industry to comment on a range of planned amendments to the Gambling Act. This means that the government can hear a variety of concerns from stakeholders within the gambling industry before implementing the changes.

We’re pleased that this new system provides long-term funding security for organizations across Great Britain working hard to reduce gambling-related harms. Having multiple commissioners means targeted funding, but there is a lot of overlap between research, prevention and treatment that can’t be ignored. We are recommending that the government implements a National Strategy that unites the three new commissioners with the shared ambition to set a clear direction to reduce gambling harms in the long term.


Research, Prevention and Treatment Funding

The three commissioners will be responsible for the proportion of funding, which will be split into three, with treatment and support services receiving 40 to 60% of the levy. The NHS will be allocated 15 to 30% of the funds, and the other 10 to 20% will go to research into gambling.

GamCare expressed that it agreed with the approach of having three commissioners but stated that it believed there is a large overlap in the treatment of gambling-related problems within the three areas outlined in the consultation paper. Therefore, the charity said there should be an overall strategy to coordinate the different types of treatment so they work together.

The statutory levy represents a generational shift in the gambling harms sector. If it’s done right, the levy is an opportunity to bring together research, prevention and treatment, helping to prevent gambling harms and providing the best care for people who need it.


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