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GambleAware defends its position after “misleading and outdated claims”

| By Kyle Goldsmith
GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond has defended the charity’s work following a complaint by the Good Law Project.

In March, the Good Law Project submitted a complaint to the Charity Commission over how GambleAware spreads information. The Good Law Project accuses GambleAware trustees of not meeting the charity’s objectives to offer adequate gambling harm education.

The complaint asserted that GambleAware’s poor performance was down to its connections with the industry and its “reliance on industry funding”.

At the time, Osmond responded in a statement issued to iGB stressing GambleAware was “robustly independent” from the industry.

Now, Osmond has again defended GambleAware and is confident the complaint will not be upheld. It is understood that the Commission’s assessment of whether it needs to intervene is still ongoing.

Osmond said: “Our robust governance and commissioning practices ensure that the industry has no influence over our operations. GambleAware’s independence has been widely recognised by a range of stakeholders including the government, as evidenced in the gambling white paper.

“The complaint lodged to the Charity Commission by the Good Law Project is based on misleading and outdated information. While we are confident that this complaint will not be upheld, we are deeply concerned that inaccurate headlines and misleading newspaper articles may have a damaging impact on our services and the people that rely on them.”

GambleAware concerned over effects of complaint on vulnerable players

While GambleAware has accused the Good Law Project of basing its complaint on inaccurate information, the charity is also apprehensive over the impacts of such claims on at-risk players who may need its services.

“The deeply stigmatised nature of gambling harms often makes it difficult for individuals to reach out for help,” Osmond continued. “Maintaining the credibility and reputation of essential support services is crucial to reaching people before their gambling issues become catastrophic.

“Undermining these services, and the dedicated workers and experts who operate them, risks not only those directly relying on them but also the many indirectly affected by a loved one’s gambling problems.”

GambleAware defends effectiveness of its treatment

GambleAware pointed to the annual National Gambling Support Network statistics to defend its work. The data showed that nine out of 10 vulnerable players who complete their treatment see an “improvement in their condition”.

For those who don’t see their condition improve, 69% of the time it is because they did not complete their treatment.

Additionally, GambleAware pointed to the reach of its website, which has 6.5 million visits a year, as well as its national stigma public health campaign, which reached over 95% of the population.

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