Donations to GambleAware surpass £10 million for first time
Donations to problem gambling charity GambleAware have exceeded its £10 million minimum target for the first time, it has been revealed.
Gambling operators made voluntary donations to the charity of £10.05m, money which helps fund a range of services, including the National Gambling Treatment Service, which includes the National Gambling Helpline.
Previous failures to reach GambleAware's target figure for donations have led to calls for the current voluntary funding system to be replaced by a mandatory levy on operators.
In addition to the core funding, GambleAware has also received £1.5 million in regulatory settlements via the Gambling Commission, while a further £3.8m was donated to fund the charity's safer gambling campaign Bet Regret.
Chief executive Marc Etches said: "For the tenth year in a row we have seen an increase in donations which means, for the first time, we have been able to meet our minimum target of £10 million."
He added: "Our mission is to keep people safe from gambling harm and these donations are vital to making sure we are able to deliver on that mission. Gambling is a serious public health issue in Great Britain, with two million adults experiencing some level of gambling harm.
"With these donations, we are able to continue funding the National Gambling Treatment Service to provide treatment for those who need it, while working in partnership with the NHS and Citizens Advice amongst others."
Last summer five of Britain's leading gambling companies committed to spending a cumulative £100 million on problem gambling treatment over the next four years, saying they would work with a range of organisations, including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the NHS, to decide how the additional funds should be deployed.
Reacting to the news from GambleAware, the Betting and Gaming Council said: "We are pleased that our members have stepped up their funding of GambleAware along with a range of other charities to increase the help and support available to those at risk.
"Our largest members have gone further and committed up to an additional £100 million to research, education and treatment over the next four years, increasing donations from 0.1 per cent of profit to one per cent of profit."
They added: "Through continued funding by our industry over more than 20 years charitable services are able to provide free of charge treatment, support and advice services for anyone affected by gambling."
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