RGF and GREaT Foundation arrangement “unworkable”

03/08/2011

In a statement issued  about the termination of its funding agreement with the industry-led fund raising body, the GREaT Foundation, a spokesperson for the Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF) said:
“RGF has given notice that it is terminating the funding agreement with GREaT. Our trustees found that the tri-partite arrangement set up after the review of research, education and treatment of problem gambling in 2008 to be unworkable and that they were unable to operate with the degree of independence consistent with their governance documents and their duties under charity law.
“RGF’s trustees and staff are already planning how to operate between now and the end of March 2012 when the agreement ends. We will be talking to GREaT about how to manage the current grants and contracts. We have made commitments that extend over a number of years and we urge the industry-led fund raising body to honour these. GREaT have already told us that they will give us their help and support in making the best possible continuing arrangements for our beneficiaries.”
Background on the tri-partite arrangement
RGF forms part of the tri-partite arrangement established after a 2008 Gambling Commission Review as an alternative to using powers in the Gambling Act to bring in a statutory levy on the gambling industry to fund research, education and treatment in relation to problem gambling.
  • RGF was set up 2009 to distribute funds for research, education and treatment services across the gambling field, independent of the gambling industry. It became fully operational in spring 2010.
  • The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board is an independent body set up in 2009 to advise the Gambling Commission and in turn the government on the research, education and treatment programmes needed to support a national responsible gambling strategy.
  • The GREaT Foundation, also set up in 2009, raises funds through voluntary donations from the gambling industry which it passes on to RGF to support research into, education about, and treatment of problem gambling.
RGF a few highlights:
  • Made grants and awarded contracts worth £5.7 million in 2010/11.
  • Commissioned the Royal College of GPs to run a training programme to improve the way in which doctors and other primary health care workers spot and refer people at risk of, or who are facing harm from gambling
  • Pilot projects in Scotland, Wales and the West Midlands aimed at bringing together money advice agencies (including citizens advice bureaux), local GPs and other community-based bodies to tackle gambling harm.
  • Support to the National Problem Gambling Clinic to provide specialist treatment to help adults of all ages, particularly women, to overcome their problem gambling.
  • An innovative project with Manchester Metropolitan University to prevent gambling-related harm in higher education.
  • A pilot study by Lancaster University on the prevalence of gambling problems amongst inmates in English prisons.
  • Developed a specification for a National Gambling Helpline.
  • Funded PhD studentships to widen participation in gambling-related research as a cost-effective means of informing public policy in practical ways through education, prevention and research programmes based on hard evidence.
  • Developed a standardised reporting framework for collecting data about those seeking help that will help improve the quality of services and to assist in improving value-for-money and the outcomes for users.
  • Developing quality assurance standards for treatment services to create a simple proportionate means of being sure that they are working safely, effectively and in line with legal and good practice guidelines
  • Developing programmes to fill gaps in research and harm prevention, and to address past shortcomings in the specification and evaluation of treatment.

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