GambleAware – the UK-based non-profit organisation that helps tackle problem gambling – has received another £9m boost its coffers. This time, the funds have come from regulatory settlements from fines imposed by the UK Gambling Commission on operators who have flouted the laws.
Tackling problem gambling in the UK
Under an agreement with the UKGC, GambleAware receives one third of settlement fines that have been collected by the Commission. In total, £27m was paid in fines over the first quarter of 2020. One of the objectives of the charity is to assist in delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms in the UK. It has already earmarked these funds to set up further problem gambling support and treatment services to help people in need today.
William Moyes, the Gambling Commission’s Chairman, said, “In addition to a tough and flexible regulatory system, it’s vital organisations such as GambleAware and their partners can continue the great work they do, especially at times when there is an elevated risk of gambling harm with people staying at home due to social distancing measures.”
The UKGC also stated that gambling activity has dipped overall throughout April. However, some verticals in the online sector, such as casinos, live casinos, poker, and virtual sports, have seen an increase.
This message falls in line with what Yanica Saint – the head of European Union affairs & policy at the Malta Gaming Authority – reported yesterday. Her governing body, which licences dozens of UK online casinos, said the latest data does not highlight any “drastic” changes in player’s behaviour in recent weeks. While certain verticals have dropped rather dramatically, others have increased, but not to the height where we should be alarmed.
GamblingAware: £19m in the last three weeks
The £9m received today was the second multi-million pound cheque to land on GambleAware’s doorstep in the last three weeks. Previously, it took £10m in donations from UK-licenced gambling operators such. This is an annual donation, where the companies are asked to donate a minimum of 0.01% of their Gross Gambling Yield for the year.
GambleAware uses these donations to fund numerous studies and research into a wide variety of problem gambling-related topics. Past research publications range from looking at the effects of gambling marketing on children through investigations on eye-tracking in electronic gaming.
Currently, GambleAware has 18 further research projects underway as it continues to look at multiple aspects in our societies to remove the threat of gambling harms.