Bet365 leads GambleAware donations in H1 as total pledges reach £10.6m
| By Robert Fletcher
British gambling industry charity GambleAware received a total of £10.6m (€12.5m/$14.6m) in donations during the first half of its fiscal year, with Bet365 accounting for more than one third of all pledges.
The amount donated during the six months to the end of September surpassed the £2.3m pledged during the same period last year by 360.9%, though operators in the first half of 2020 were impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and donations were lower as a result.
Bet365 was by far the leading contributor in the first half, donating a total of £4.2m to the charity, or 39.6% of all pledged during the period.
Entain ranked second with the £2.0m it donated during the first quarter of GambleAware’s 2021-22 fiscal year, but did not add to this amount in the second quarter.
William Hill was the only other operator to donate a seven-figure sum, pledging £1.0m to the charity in the first half.
These large donations come after the three operators, alongside fellow market leader Flutter pledged to donate a total of £100m to improving treatment services for problem gamblers by the end of 2023.
Other notable donors in H1 included Platinum Gaming (Unibet) with a £92,000 pledge, Playtech with £51,768 and Videoslots and Zecure Gaming with £50,000 each.
White Hat Gaming made a donation of £47,230, while Star Racing made two donations of £20,720 and £26,069, as did Virgin Bet with two separate pledges of £16,892 and £17,935.
Additional donations in the first half included £22,801 from One Click and £22,000 from STS.Bet. GambleAware noted that it did not receive any funds from regulatory settlements in H1.
The amount pledged during H1 was more than half the amount donated during the 2019-20 fiscal year ending 31 March 2020, when some £19.0m was submitted after major increases in donations from Flutter and Entain.
GambleAware asks all businesses that profit from gambling in Britain to donate annually a minimum of 0.1% of their annual gross gambling yield (GGY), while those with an annual gross gambling revenue of less than £250,000 per year are asked to donate a minimum of £250.