In a significant development for the gaming community and supporters of gambling harm prevention, GambleAware, the leading commissioner of gambling harm prevention programs in Great Britain, has announced the receipt of £49.5 million in voluntary donations from the gambling industry for the financial year 2023/24. These funds are earmarked for critical services such as public health campaigns, education, treatment, and research aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of gambling.

The lion’s share of these donations, amounting to £46.6 million, came from the four largest gambling operators in the country. This figure marks the culmination of a four-year commitment by these operators to increase their contributions from 0.25% to 1% of their Gross Gambling Yield (GGY). This substantial increase demonstrates a growing recognition within the industry of the need to support efforts aimed at reducing gambling harm.

Despite the significant voluntary support received this year, GambleAware has expressed concerns about the funding uncertainty for the upcoming financial year, 2024/25. The charity is calling for minimal disruption as the industry transitions to a statutory levy system, which is expected to provide a more stable and sustainable funding source for gambling harm prevention and treatment services.

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, emphasized the importance of continued voluntary funding during the transition period, stating,

“While we await the implementation of the new statutory levy, donations from the voluntary funding system are key to ensure GambleAware can continue to deliver the essential gambling harm prevention and treatment programs we commission.”

She also highlighted the need for a smooth transition, saying,

“During the transition period, it is vital that steps continue to be taken to ensure there is no disruption to existing services and provisions in the wider system as they adapt to the new levy funding model.”

GambleAware’s work includes the operation of the National Gambling Support Network (NGSN) and the National Gambling Helpline, which offer free, confidential support to those affected by gambling-related issues. These services are crucial for providing immediate assistance and long-term support to individuals and families impacted by gambling harm.

In addition to providing direct support, GambleAware commissions research and evaluation studies to enhance understanding and prevention strategies for gambling harm. This research is vital for developing effective interventions and informing public health policies aimed at reducing the prevalence and impact of gambling-related issues.

In addition to the voluntary donations, GambleAware received £33.5 million in regulatory settlement funds from the Gambling Commission. These funds are intended to support the gambling harm prevention, support, and treatment system during the transition to the statutory levy. The allocation of these funds is part of the Gambling Commission’s efforts to enforce regulations and ensure compliance within the industry.

The receipt of £49.5 million in voluntary donations for 2023/24 represents a significant milestone for GambleAware and the broader effort to mitigate gambling harm in Great Britain. However, the charity’s concerns about future funding highlight the importance of a smooth transition to the statutory levy system. As GambleAware continues its vital work in public health campaigns, education, treatment, and research, the ongoing support from both voluntary and statutory sources will be crucial for ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of its programs.

For the gaming community, charity supporters, and financial donors, this announcement underscores the critical role of collective effort and financial backing in addressing the challenges posed by gambling-related harm. As we look to the future, continued support and collaboration will be key to building a safer and more responsible gambling environment for all.

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