The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) will invest £ 100 million in a program to improve the services offered to players with problems, as confirmed by five members of the body.
The GambleAware charity will receive these funds from UK operators: GVC, PaddyPower Betfair, bet365, Sky Betting and Gaming (owned by Flutter Entertainment) and William Hill. This ensures that the funds actually go to players who need treatment and advice.
Operators are willing to increase funding for research, education and treatment (RET) services. Currently the contribution is 0.1% of their annual income. With the increase it would reach 0.25% this year, then in 2021 it would increase to 0.5%, in 2022 to 0.75% and in 2023 it would reach 1%.
“GambleAware has a long history of commissioning treatment services and working with providers for the benefit of struggling players,” said Flutter Entertainment CEO Peter Jackson.
“Through the provision of this unprecedented level of financial support, our goal is to achieve a radical change in the treatment and counseling available to those experiencing gaming-related harm,” added Jackson.
He also said that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the group is making progress in incorporating greater protection for its clients.
“From increasing safer gaming messages in response to Covid-19, to a £ 10 million national education initiative targeting all children ages 11-19 across the country, we are creating a safer environment for our customers by time that we dedicate resources to protect the most vulnerable years.”
The Gambling and Gaming Council confirmed that another £ 2.5 million will also go to the YGAM / GamCare gambling education project this year. Meanwhile, operating companies will continue to contribute 0.1% of their annual revenue to finance RETs through GambleAware.
In addition, BGC members will provide £ 3.8 million in additional funding from the BetRegret 2020 advertising campaign that encourages safe gaming.
“I’ve seen first hand how problem gambling can damage people’s mental health and affect the lives of those around them – and I’ve been determined to help protect vulnerable people from the impacts.” said the Secretary of Health for Great Britain Matt Hancock.
“So I am delighted that the Betting and Gaming Council is taking these steps to support the treatment and provision of problem players,” he said.
Lastly, he said that:
“The government will continue to address the consequences of gambling problems by implementing specialized services in the NHS, which will offer specialized care and treatment for those who need it.”