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GambleAware promotes Griffiths to chair of trustees

| By Robert Fletcher
GambleAware has announced Siân Griffiths, formerly president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, as its new chair of trustees.
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Griffiths will take on the role on 18 July, after several years as GambleAware deputy chair and having chaired its performance and delivery committee.

She previously chaired Public Health England’s global health committee and was an associate non-executive member of the advisory board until its dissolution in September 2021. Griffiths is also a non-executive director for Public Health Wales.

In 2003, Griffiths also chaired the Hong Kong government’s SARS Inquiry. This led to her joining the Chinese University of Hong Kong as founding director of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care.

“I am delighted to accept this appointment and to continue working with GambleAware to ensure gambling harms are viewed as a serious public health issue,” Griffiths said. 

“GambleAware’s independence from the industry remains paramount and is demonstrated across all areas of the charity’s work. I look forward to continuing these efforts with my public health colleagues and experts within the GambleAware board as we transition to a new statutory funding model.”

GambleAware bids farewell to long-serving Lampard

Griffiths is replacing Baroness Kate Lampard, who is stepping down having served as chair since 2016. Lampard is leaving to lead the Lampard Inquiry, investigating mental health in-patient deaths in Essex. 

As chair, Lampard was a leading voice in calling for an industry statutory levy to replace a voluntary funding system, something the government backed in the Gambling Act white paper.

Lampard also led the charity through the expansion of the gambling harms system. This includes working with the government, NHS and others within the third sector via the recommissioning of the National Gambling Support Network. 

“I’m pleased to be succeeded by Siân and to be leaving the charity in such safe hands,” Lampard said. “I am proud of what we have achieved and it has been a pleasure to see how the charity and wider gambling harms system has grown over the past eight years.

“I wish GambleAware and Siân all the best for the future.”

GambleAware donations up in 2023-24

The appointment comes after GambleAware last month reported a 13.8% in total voluntary charitable donations in 2023-24. Industry members committed £49.5m (€58.6m/$63.4m) during the 12-month period.

The vast majority (94%) was donated by the UK’s four largest gambling operators: Flutter, Entain, Bet365 and William Hill (now part of Evoke). 

Charity Commission investigation ongoing

Revelation of higher donations followed a complaint by the Good Law Project to the Charity Commission, alleging GambleAware fails to provide unbiased information to people it aims to help.

The complaint, submitted by independent gambling reform campaigner Will Prochaska, claims GambleAware trustees are not meeting the charity’s aims to offer sufficient gambling harm education, due to a “reliance on industry funding”.

GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond defended the charity against the complaint and is confident it will not be upheld. The Commission’s assessment of whether it needs to intervene is still ongoing.

Update: The story previously stated a complaint against GameAware was filed on behalf of Gambling with Lives, but Prochaska left charity and industry campaigner Gambling With Lives in February 2024.

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