GambleAware sees voluntary donations spike
GambleAware said it is making “good progress” towards funding its £16m (€18m/$21m) spending plan after seeing a spike in voluntary donations from the industry.
The UK charity, which called for a statutory levy last year in response to poor donation figures, received £2.8m during the three months to June 30, which was almost treble the approximately £1m in the same period last year.
GambleAware, which funds research, education and treatment services to help to reduce gambling-related harms, said it believes it is on track to reach its £10m donation target, which is the amount it believes is required to pay for its recently announced Strategic Delivery Plan, which outlines spending of £32m over the next two years.
Mark Etches, chief executive of GambleAware, last year publicly called for a levy to be imposed due to the industry’s failure to meet voluntary targets. However, he told iGamingBusiness.com that he was “cautiously optimistic” about current donation levels.
“We are making good progress with meeting our spending target,” Etches (pictured) told iGamingBusiness.com.
The donation-based system that funds GambleAware was proposed under the Gambling Act 2005 and is prescribed by the Gambling Commission in its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
All those who profit from gambling in Britain are asked to donate annually a minimum of 0.1% of their annual gross gambling yield directly to GambleAware. Six companies, including Bet365, Gamesys and Rank Group, pledged more than £500,000 during the first three months of this year.
Dozens of small companies – those with revenue of less than £250,000 – donated the minimum £250.
In its Strategic Delivery Plan, GambleAware awarded GamCare a 20% increase in annual funding in the form of a grant totalling £14m over three years. £10m has been pledged for research and evaluation and more than £5m towards education.
Etches added: “There are 430,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain, but only 2% of those are receiving treatment.
“In order for GambleAware to commission the needed research, education and treatment to help problem gamblers and better understand gambling related harm, it is vital the industry continue to donate.”