Mims Davies Says Mandatory Levy Is a Possibility

Against a backdrop of spreading problem gambling epidemic, Sports Minister Mims Davies pressed gambling firms to increase GambleAware donations. Davies announced that she wants the goal of £10m in donations to be reached by the end of April. Though pro-voluntary funding, she said that a mandatory levy isn’t out of the question. Her statement came during a Westminister Hall debate.

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UK gambling firms to face additional compliance fees © Pexels.

She then made it clear that gambling companies’ revenue is none of her concern, but rather ensuring that problem gamblers are treated accordingly. Davies went on to explain that Public Health England is heavily invested in evidence review which will help for the identification and prevention of problem gambling. UK online gambling providers have concurred to donate 0.1% of their revenues to GambleAware – the biggest gambling addiction charity on the Island. The agreement was sealed in 2007 and the organization was chosen to administer the donations. Recent reports indicate that many firms participating in the deal are falling to hold up their end. Largely due to the inefficiency of the voluntary system of funding, Mims Davies suggested that an obligatory revenue fee might be necessary.

Operators are in a unique position to deliver early interventions, before harm occurs, and I want to see rapid progress in this areaMims Davies, Sports Minister

What is being done currently to hold problem gambling in check?

Mims Davies called on the attendants to unite around the idea of educating people of the risks related to gambling and expressed her strong belief in the success of the responsible advertising campaign that is believed to take effect later this year. Presently, GambleAware is seriously weakened by a deficiency in funding and so is its capability of helping problem gamblers. One issue that GambleAware addressed in its public statement is that the limited incomings mean vital services like funding for the only gambling clinic in the UK will suffer as well. This, however, didn’t stop the organization from initiating the Bet regret campaign, which is aimed at the 2.4 million young men in the UK statistically prone to developing a harmful gambling habit. GambleAware has recruited former footballers Dean Saunders and Danny Gabbidon in an attempt to level with the public on the matter of problem gambling.

The Sports Minister didn’t forget to underline the important role of GambleAware, which also plays a big part in researching the effect of advertising on different groups of people, mainly children and young adults. All data gathered from this research will be used for ironing out the new policies concerning the matter, said Mims Davies. The initiative goes as deep as the Department for Education, as she promised to cooperate closely with her colleagues there in order to raise awareness of problem gambling among students. The sports minister also flagged the issue of gambling on credit cards, hinting that it may also be addressed in a future reform. Abolishing credit cards as a deposit method could have detrimental consequences on the online casino and sports betting sector.

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