GambleAware outlines plans for BGC member funding commitment

GambleAware has revealed more details of funding commitments from four of the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) leading members.

The UK’s gambling charity GambleAware has outlined details of the funding commitments from four of the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) leading members and revealed how this funding will be used to support its work.

In June 2020, Entain, Bet365, William Hill and Flutter Entertainment said they would pledge £100m to improve the treatment services available to people suffering from gambling-related problems in the UK.

At the time this was announced, it was agreed that GambleAware would act as the main commissioning agent responsible for ensuring the funds reach people who need treatment.

GambleAware outlines plan

In a letter addressed to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gambling-related Harms, the charity’s chief executive Marc Etches revealed that the operators named above have so far donated £2.2m in the first three quarters of the 2020-21 financial year. 

The GambleAware chief executive said that they predict this to reach £5m before the end of the fourth quarter on 31 March. 

Etches added that GambleAware expects to receive a minimum of £10m in donations for the 2021-22 year and then £25m in 2022-23 and £35m for the 2023-24 financial year. These amounts correspond to the gambling companies agreeing to donate between 0.1% and 0.25% of its gross gambling yield in 2020, then 0.5% in 2021, 0.75% in 2020 and 1% in 2023.

In the letter, Etches wrote: “GambleAware is working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the NHS to ensure the best use of this pledged funding, and to align and integrate the expansion of treatment services across the whole system so patients get the right treatment at the right time.”

The amount outlined is £25m below the amount agreed in June 2020, however, in a letter from 31 July 2020, the BGC’s chair Brigid Simmonds said that the percentages applied to gross gambling yield over the four years are uncertain in terms of year to year yield.

In the letter, Simmonds explained that this has been made much more challenging due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Simmonds explained that they intend to amend the figure every year.

Simmonds said: “We intend on updating an amended figure each year, so this should be seen as a floor to funding with additional funding spread out over years two to four. 

“The large operators have shown a strong commitment to increasing RET and we will look to encourage more operators across the industry to demonstrate their own commitment in a way that makes more funds available for funding the effort to make gambling safer and the provision of treatment that goes with it.”

Etches explained that the remaining £25m would be spread out between the period from April 2021 and March 2024. 

Etches said: “For its part, GambleAware plans to publish a new Strategic Commissioning Plan in April 2021 that will detail the charity’s objectives for commissioning prevention and treatment services during the next five years.”

A busy week for GambleAware

At the start of the Week, GambleAware announced that it had launched the second phase of its campaign to promote the National Gambling Treatment Service.

The charity is set to promote its “Start to Regain Control” campaign, which is intended tortoise awareness of the NGTS among vulnerable audiences across the UK’s highest risk areas, during the first half of 2021 

GambleAware also published the donations it has received from businesses operating in the gambling sector for the first three quarters of the 2020-21 fiscal year.

According to the report, the charity has received £4.5m in donations with Flutter, Bet365, William Hill and Gamesysy ranking among the top donors.

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