UK – The UK Gambling Commission has announced that it is providing a funding boost of £9 million to help problem gamblers by drawing from regulatory settlements and paying it to GambleAware, a UK charity that supports initiatives and activities to support vulnerable people with addiction.
Chairman of the UK Gambling Commission William Moyes commented on the funding:
“In the current climate, and with the potential risks to British consumers in mind, we have fast-tracked this settlement-driven funding to GambleAware so their work to prevent gambling harms and award grants can continue seamlessly.
In addition to a tough and flexible regulatory system, it’s vital that organisations such as GambleAware and their partners can continue the great work they do, especially at times when there is an elevated risk of gambling harm with people staying at home due to social distancing measures.
Through the use of regulatory action to prevent harm, such as the ban of credit for gambling, alongside the use of regulatory settlements to support treatment services, the Commission is taking wide ranging action to address the additional risk of harm that may come from COVID-19.”
The money will ensure support services can continue to operate effectively in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
GambleAware chief executive officer Marc Etches explained how the funding will assist the charity:
“We welcome the receipt of these regulatory settlements at this uncertain time. Guided by a public health model, GambleAware commissions prevention and treatment services across England, Scotland and Wales in partnership with expert organisations and agencies, including the NHS.
These funds will enable us to provide greater security around the funding of the National Gambling Treatment Service, and help keep people safe from gambling harms.”
GambleAware is an independent, grant-making charity commissioning prevention and treatment services across England, Scotland and Wales to keep people safe from gambling harms.
Since January 2020 alone, the Commission’s regulatory action has led to the industry paying £27m in penalty packages. The action was taken for systemic failings around anti-money laundering, social responsibility and VIP practices. So far this year the Commission has also suspended the operating licences of four online operators for compliance-related issues.