Bookmakers are short changing Britain’s biggest gambling charity, GambleAware, in a voluntary funding scheme that has been in place since the introduction of the Grambling Act 2005 and all organisations are expected to comply with the Gambling Commission’s in the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice Part 3.1 which states
“ Licensees must make an annual financial contribution to one or more organisation(s) which between them research into the prevention and treatment of gambling-related harm, develop harm prevention approaches and identify and fund treatment to those harmed by gambling.”
Kate Lampard, became Chair of GambleAware in 2016, has been critical of the lack of contributions received from the gambling industry and failing to meet their full duties under these operating conditions.
Gambling firms have been accused of “taking the mickey” by making tiny financial donations to addiction charities, including one company accused of giving just 1p to avoid being named for not giving anything.
Some companies are guilty of “a gross violation of the spirit of the legislation” that says firms must make annual charitable donations to help treat addicts, said Kate Lampard..
Kate accused some businesses of being “fare dodgers”, despite her charity asking for donations of just 0.1% of a firm’s “gross gaming yield” – the amount staked by gamblers minus the amount of winnings paid out.
In 2016 Kate told the Financial Times she was thinking of naming and shaming the firms, adding: “I think it is a gross violation of the spirit of the legislation.
“Our request is fairly modest, and there are some states in the US where not only is the levy a statutory levy, but it is set at 2 per cent of their gross gambling yield.
“One of the very biggest of the gambling companies, we are almost certain, is only paying a third of what they ought to, based on the 0.1 per cent calculation. We have all shapes and sizes of fare dodgers.”
Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware said: “GambleAware is committed to minimising gambling-related harm in Great Britain. Our aim is to stop people getting into problems with their gambling, and to ensure those that do develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support.
In Great Britain, it is estimated that 250,000 people have a gambling problem, and another 470,000 are at risk of developing one. However, only 3% of those who need help are currently getting the support they need. We all need to do more to raise awareness of the services available and to ensure sufficient capacity to meet increased demand. This requires all businesses that profit from gambling to step up to the plate in the next twelve months to help us achieve our objectives. Whilst we continue to see the merits for maintaining the voluntary system of funding for research, education and treatment, our first priority has to be providing sufficient help for all those who seek it, so we would not hesitate in supporting the commencement of a statutory levy if the voluntary system fails to deliver.”
GambleAware has announced income for financial year ended 31st March 2017 was a record breaking £8m. However, despite a 10% increase on the previous year, this still falls 20% short of the target £10m per annum required to meet their priorities to support gambling addicts.
GambleAware will soon be publishing the latest annual report. The website names some donor organisations. GambleAware stated that donations are only received from 80% of operating gambling organisations. In November 2016 Chair Kate Lampard threatened to name and shame donors making ridiculously small donations such as 1p. Go on Kate. Do it!