GambleAware has reiterated the need to introduce a mandatory levy to support gambling harm prevention and treatment amid the pending publication of the Gambling Act review White Paper.
The organisation has previously called for a 1% levy for betting firms licensed in the UK, as it could raise up to £140m per year.
GambleAware detailed that there is a possibility of ‘an increased risk of people experiencing gambling-related harms’, compounded by the wider availability of online betting and the current financial struggles of the UK economy and many households.
Zoë Osmond, CEO at GambleAware, affirmed: “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.
“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. This could be delivered in a matter of months and could almost treble the amount of funding going to preventing and treating gambling harms.”
GambleAware is not alone in calling for a levy imposed within the gambling law reform, as the UK government moves ahead with the major reform of gambling legislation since the Gambling Act 2005.
Notably, legislators such as Lord Foster of Bath, Chair of Peers for Gambling Reform (PGR), have called for the introduction of a research, education and treatment (RET) levy as an ideal outcome of the review, in addition to other changes to regulation and business practice.
GambleAware has also called for support to be delivered to those most at risk by reducing inequalities, as well as delivering tailored prevention and support to local needs and reaching the most deprived communities.
The charity has also urged for an “an agile, data-led, and innovation-driven approach to prevention and treatment”, adding that a ‘coalition of expertise is needed to deliver the broad spectrum of research, prevention and treatment locally and nationally’.