Currently, many major operators voluntarily contribute to Research, Education and Treatment (RET) services related to problem gambling harm.

In 2020, five of the biggest BCG members confirmed that they would pledge £100m ($123m) to independent charities that handle around 85% of all problem gamblers receiving treatment in the UK.

These operators were bet365, GVC (now Entain), Paddy Power, Sky Betting and Gaming, Betfair and William Hill.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher said: “I have said for some time that I am relaxed about a so-called statutory levy given that the money is already on the table from BGC members, it is already allocated independently of the industry and given that it was the BGC who proposed to government last year that contributions should be mandatory.

“But we want to see continued sustainable funding for RET provided it recognises the fact land-based operators are under greater cost pressures, so there has to be appropriate mitigation, and that funds continue to be distributed effectively and genuinely independently.”

BGC suggests that should the Government impose a mandatory levy, there needs to be additional measures to protect land-based operators among rising costs, including premises and staff.

Dugher continued: “Our largest members already pay 1% to fund Research, Education and Treatment services via a wholly independent system.

“For the BGC and our members, the priority is ensuring the money reaches charities doing exceptional work and funds truly independent, evidence-led research.

“The mechanism used to generate those funds is an irrelevance by comparison. I also know that there were some in the NHS who had previously said they wouldn’t accept funding that came from the industry, so it is welcome that they now appear willing to do so.”

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