UK Introduces 1% Gaming Levy to Fund Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment

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The British gambling market has got a voluntary operator contributions to the problem gaming fund allowing operators to funnel as little as one pound to the program. The fact that some operators have literally followed the minimum voluntary contribution requirement may be one of the underlying reasons why the British government announced the consideration of a 1% levy introduction to fund research, prevention, and treatment of gambling addiction. As Reuters reports, the government expects that the measure will raise around 100 million pounds per year for these purposes.

1% Levy Introduction:

According to the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reportedly indicating on 17 October 2023 that some operators are paying the minimum sum under the voluntary levy scheme, it seems that the introduction of a mandatory fee is designed to level the problem gambling funding schedule. As reported by Reuters, the DCMS said in a statement: “The Government is minded to set the levy as a new 1% fee on gross gambling yield for online gambling operators, while traditional betting shops and casinos will pay a proposed fee of around 0.4%.”

Government Addresses Problem Gaming:

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Reuters reports that the government has already announced plans to combat problem gambling. The scope included the update of the regulatory framework to enable the British lawmakers to keep up with the proliferation of mobile gaming and online sports wagering facilities. As a part of the measure, online gamblers have been restricted to place bets within the range from 2 pounds to 15 pounds to be kept safe from the adverse gambling issues. On the other hands, the liberal policy in reference to the operator’s contributions to problem gaming funds seemed based on a belief that the impact of the issue will be negligible.

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As the reports from other markets testify about the direct proportion of the number of online gambling operations and the number of individuals with gaming problem, the government, according to Reuters, said on 17 October 2023 that it would consider the design of the proposed levy for gambling operators. It seems that the introduction of the measure is no longer the question, but the way of its implementation.

The DCMS reportedly also stated that the revenues generated from the new 1% levy on gambling operations would be distributed to theĀ  state-operated National Health Service (NHS) in England, Scotland and Wales. As reported by Reuters, the revenues generated from the voluntary levy in 2021-2022 in amount of 34.7 million pounds were allocated to the charity GambleAware and some other bodies.

”Fair Share”:

But these contributions were dependent on the operator’s good will and therefore impossible to be planned in advance. Also, the voluntary scheme affects the operators paying more to the problem gaming programs. According to Reuters, the government’s gambling minister Stuart Andrew accordingly said: “Gambling firms should always pay their fair share and this new statutory levy will ensure that they are legally required to do just that.”

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