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GambleAware CEO welcomes UK Industry Levy

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GambleAware chief executive Zoe Osmond says she “welcomes”, the creation of a mandatory industry levies, as it would help fund research on gambling harms.

The new fee would consist of 1% of gross gaming yield. It was proposed as part of the Gambling Act White Paper. The fee will be around 0.4% for traditional betting shops and casino.

According to the government, this levy will raise approximately PS100m per annum (EUR115.5m/$121.7m).

Operators would be required to pay the levies directly to the Gambling Commission. This will hopefully ensure that all UK licensed operators pay their fair shares. Current voluntary levies allow operators to choose a sum.

Osmond, whose consultations on the new statutory gambling levy ended in December, has welcomed its implementation, stating: “GambleAware is pleased with the establishment of the industry-wide statutory gaming levy for funding research and prevention, as well as treatment, to reduce the harms associated with gambling.

This is something that we’ve long urged and marks an important change in the efforts to combat gambling harms.

After years of uncertainty the levies will bring clarity to the funding of the sector of gambling harms, help with long-term planning, and avoid duplication.

GambleAware identifies possible issues with the Statutory Levy

Osmond expressed a variety of concerns about the introduction despite GambleAware’s support.

Osmond urged the creation of a strategy for combating gambling harms, something that was absent from the proposal. Osmond suggested that a single commissioner be appointed to deal with the prevention and treatment gambling addiction.

GambleAware wants to see a revision of the funding proposals, as they “do [not] adequately reflect potential benefits at the population level” from early intervention.

White Paper Progress

In April 2023 the Gambling Act Review White Paper, which was published, explained how the UK would like to reform the way gambling is regulated.

In addition to proposals for affordability, sports betting, and machine numbers, the white paper also includes suggestions on how to check your financial risk. The consultations began in July and the first round of financial vulnerability and risk was closed in October. In total, over 3,000 submissions have been made.

Seven topics will be covered in the next round, including online bonuses. Tim Miller, Executive Director of Policy at the Commission, said that it is expected to end in either February or March.

BGC, which broadly endorsed the whitepaper, already backed this planned levy. The BGC, which has broadly backed the white paper, is already in support of the planned levy.

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