Gambling

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Flynn Stephen Flynn Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Financial Secretary)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory levy on gambling firms to fund gambling addiction treatment, education and research.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 27 January 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

The Gambling Commission requires all operators licensed under the Gambling Act 2005 to make a contribution towards the research, prevention and treatment of gambling-related harm. Most operators donate to GambleAware, a charity which commissions dedicated support for problem gamblers, as well as research and awareness-raising on gambling-related harm. For the 2018-19 financial year, operators donated £9.6mbn to GambleAware, and industry body the Betting and Gaming Council estimates that operators gave a further £9.7m to other charities. For that same financial year, the gambling sector paid around £3bn to the exchequer in gambling taxes.

GambleAware commission support and treatment services for those suffering through gambling problems, including the National Gambling Helpline and counselling services provided by GamCare. GambleAware commissioned services complement those of NHS England who are scaling up treatment provision for problem gambling as part of the NHS Long-term plan. This will see up to 14 new specialist clinics open in the next 5 years, 2 of which have opened already. The Health Secretary has also announced that a cross-government addiction strategy, to include gambling, will be published in 2020.

In May 2018 the government published its response to the consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility measures, which made clear that if industry failed to provide the funding needed to meet current and future needs, government would consider all options, including a mandatory levy. Following this, in July 2019, five large gambling operators announced that they will increase the amount they give tenfold, from 0.1% to 1% of their gross profits over the next four years, and as part of this have committed to spend £100 million on treatment.

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Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Gambling Commission requires all operators licensed under the Gambling Act 2005 to make a contribution towards the research, prevention and treatment of gambling-related harm. Most operators donate to GambleAware, a charity which commissions dedicated support for problem gamblers, as well as research and awareness-raising on gambling-related harm. For the 2018-19 financial year, operators donated £9.6mbn to GambleAware, and industry body the Betting and Gaming Council estimates that operators gave a further £9.7m to other charities. For that same financial year, the gambling sector paid around £3bn to the exchequer in gambling taxes.

GambleAware commission support and treatment services for those suffering through gambling problems, including the National Gambling Helpline and counselling services provided by GamCare. GambleAware commissioned services complement those of NHS England who are scaling up treatment provision for problem gambling as part of the NHS Long-term plan. This will see up to 14 new specialist clinics open in the next 5 years, 2 of which have opened already. The Health Secretary has also announced that a cross-government addiction strategy, to include gambling, will be published in 2020.

In May 2018 the government published its response to the consultation on gaming machines and social responsibility measures, which made clear that if industry failed to provide the funding needed to meet current and future needs, government would consider all options, including a mandatory levy. Following this, in July 2019, five large gambling operators announced that they will increase the amount they give tenfold, from 0.1% to 1% of their gross profits over the next four years, and as part of this have committed to spend £100 million on treatment.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.