The latest corporate donor figures for GambleAware are out for the previous 12 months, showing the “big four” UK operator groups pumped in 89% of the total donations - Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, Entain, and Bet365. Not surprising really, but GambleAware was not slow on pointing out the inconsistency across the wider network of gambling operators.
CEO of GambleAware, Zoë Osmund, mentioned the “instability” and “uncertainty” of funding that this inconsistency brings for such an integral part of the UK gambling industry.
The total collected for the year reached £34.7 million, which is still going in the right direction to hit the 1% gross gambling yield by the year 2024. The intention was to go from 0.1% to 1%, and there have even been suggestions to bring about mandatory levies on those who acquire UKGC licensing. This would certainly help solve that inconsistency issue while at the same time supporting the push to reach that 1% gross gambling yield target.
These things take time, though. Still, the group is on the right track.
Big Brands Putting Hands in Pockets
All the big-name brands are on the list, from the combined £17.4 million via the five top UK operators under the Flutter portfolio to Entain donating over £8 million from its own network. Playtech, Hillside UK Sports, Betway, 888 UK, and LeoVegas were also donors to the GambleAware group.
Osmund goes on to call for continued improvements on the setup and process, though. Most of the high-level points relate to long-term planning and also scaling up responsible gambling – especially when economic hardship is set to become more prevalent than ever before. It’s certainly worth discussing to help futureproof the UK gambling community.
Further calls for a RET levy (research, education, and training) were called out by the Chair of the BGC, Brigid Simmonds (OBE), arguing that such a change would damage the progress already made to funding across treatment for problem gambling. That’s a story for another day. Still, there is a lot to discuss here, but there is also a lot to take from the £37.4 million donations from 2021/22.
If anything, this is all going in the right direction, and any future discussions on RET or licensing levies would surely benefit, regardless of the outcome. Much like the issues with problem gambling, those involved need to continue talking and keep the discussion moving forward.