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RGA Calls for Fixed Levy on Gambling

Wednesday 13th December 2017

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) this week announced that it would urge the Government to introduce a statutory levy to replace the current system of voluntary funding for research, education, and treatment of problem gambling; and to ensure that the National Responsible Gambling Strategy is properly funded.

The current voluntary funding system, which is overseen by GambleAware, was originally established by the gambling industry to provide finances for a range of social responsibility projects, and full credit should be given to all those companies who have contributed to it regularly over the years. Without this support there would have been few or no specialist treatment services in Great Britain and less resource available for research and education.

“It has become increasingly clear that this system is no longer fit for purpose and this concern is presumably why DCMS in its Consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures October 2017) posed a specific question about the future of the funding of research, education and treatment,” said an RGA spokesperson.

The RGA’s previous position was that it was not opposed in principle to the introduction of a statutory levy. After careful consideration it has now taken the decision that it should instead proactively seek the introduction of such a levy for which there is already a reserve power in the Gambling Act 2005. When it responds in January to the DCMS consultation it will adopt this line and propose ways in which an equitable and effective levy system could be implemented sooner rather than later.

Commenting on the proposal, the RGA’s Chief Executive, Clive Hawkswood, said:
‘There has been much to commend in the voluntary funding system, but if we are to combat problem gambling to the best of our ability and to minimise gambling related harm, then now is the time for change and for a fresh start. We are all disappointed that the current system has been the subject of so much criticism and has struggled with fundraising, but we need to put that behind us.

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