RGA urges statutory UK levy to support responsible gambling
The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has called for the UK government to introduce a statutory levy to fund the National Responsible Gambling Strategy.
In a statement, the RGA said that the levy would replace the current system of voluntary funding for research, education, and treatment of problem gambling, thus benefiting responsible gaming schemes.
GambleAware oversees the voluntary funding system and the RGA said that this has helped establish specialist treatment services and resources for research and education.
However, the RGA also said this strategy is “no longer fit for purpose”, citing the decision by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to flag up a specific question about the future of the funding of research, education and treatment in its consultation into the state of the UK gambling market.
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the RGA, said: “There has been much to commend in the voluntary funding system, but if we are to combat problem gambling to the best of our ability and to minimise gambling related harm, then now is the time for change and for a fresh start.
“We are all disappointed that the current system has been the subject of so much criticism and has struggled with fundraising, but we need to put that behind us.
“We have acknowledged the problem and put forward a long-term solution; we believe everyone’s efforts should now be focused on bringing this change about.
Hawkswood added: “For the industry, this should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.”
“More funding is needed if we are to fulfil our responsibilities to everyone in this country who gambles, and especially those who are affected by problem gambling.
“A statutory levy will ensure the right funds are raised in a fair and open process and, crucially, that they are allocated in a way that is transparent, independent, and achieves measurable benefits.”
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