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UK proposes £100 million gambling levy to treat addiction

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Learn more about the UK's proposed £100 million gambling levy and how it will fund addiction research and treatment.

At a recent International Association of Gambling Regulators (IAGR) Conference in Gaborone, the CEO of the UK Gambling Commission made it clear that their focus is the safety of the British gambling community and cementing a viable gambling business sector.

Since a sustainable gambling industry is built on the foundation of a safe and secure player community, it is no surprise that the government feels the operators bear the burden of ensuring its health.

Gambling whitepaper revisits industry levy

One of the most talked about pieces of gambling legislation currently is in the UK's Whitepaper, a bones-up review of the 2005 Gambling Act. If you missed informing yourself about it, learn more from our piece for UK white paper reforms aimed at reducing gambling harm.

In addition to addressing affordability checks, the prevalence of mobile gambling and many quality-of-life updates, a mandatory industry-wide levy has once again been tabled.

The idea of a statutory gambling levy has been bandied about many times, most recently in the June 2022 House of Commons debate, where it was noted that a fee of as little as 1%, when levied across the entire UK gambling sector, could raise as much as £100 million for player-facing programs and initiatives.

All operators need to support player safety

While it was a contentious debate point at the time, the recent announcement by the British Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) proves that it had found favour with the right people and could be a fundamental update to the Gambling Act.

The DMCS statement read:

“The Government is minded to set the levy as a new 1% fee on gross gambling yield for online gambling operators, while traditional betting shops and casinos will pay a proposed fee of around 0.4%.”

The main thrust of the levy is levelling the playing field regarding operator contributions. A press release by the Department of Health and Social Care clarifies:

"Currently, not all gambling companies contribute equally towards the existing voluntary levy, with some operators paying as little as £1 towards research, prevention and treatment. The government is therefore acting to ensure all operators contribute their fair share."

The proposed taxation will be applied to all aspects of the gambling industry in the country, not just the online casino sector in the UK, as we have seen attempted in some instances. It will see all land-based casinos, High Street betting shops, and even the National Lottery contributing towards the research, education and treatment of gambling addiction.

NHS treatment centres slated for funding

One of the primary beneficiaries of this new £100 million funding stream will be the NHS, which announced its plans to launch seven new facilities across the country dedicated to treating addiction, to bring its total to fifteen.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien said:

“Twelve of the planned fifteen NHS gambling addictions clinics have now opened across the country, providing vital support services for thousands of people experiencing gambling-related harms as well as their loved ones. The remaining three are expected to open by the end of the year.”

These treatment centres are a much-needed resource for affected players and their families, as the latest UK statistic shows that nearly 140,000 Britons exhibit problem gambling behaviour. With the NHS able to assist 3,000 people per clinic, getting the complete set of fifteen planned sites up and running is of vital importance to the health of the country.

CasinoWOW champions responsible gambling

At CasinoWOW, we believe that everyone involved in the online casino industry has a role to play in promoting responsible gambling. In support of the UK's Play Safe campaign that will run from 13-19 November 2023, we will award Safest Online Casinos 2023 badges to sites that comply with the safety standards set out by the UKGC.

The campaign aims to help our community quickly recognise casinos with their best interests at heart. We will be launching an entire community campaign with promotions and incentives. Check back closer to the time for more news and updates on this special event.

Published: November 6, 2023

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Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

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