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The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s advice on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms 2019–2022

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s advice on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms 2019–2022


The new strategy will also require a regular and predictable flow of funding.

The volume of funding will inevitably have to be increased if:

  • accessibility for treatment is to be improved. It seems unlikely that full funding for this will be made available from NHS bodies or local authorities in their current financial situations
  • an effective and co-ordinated prevention strategy, including potentially expensive public education campaigns among other measures, is to be adequately resourced
  • sufficient finance is to be made available for the research programme we believe to be necessary to underpin the strategy.

The current arrangements are unsustainable. Their voluntary nature of the arrangements means that the amount received is uncertain and therefore difficult to plan against and the overall quantum of funding raised is insufficient to meet the level of need set out in our advice. A number of organisations and individuals perceive ethical difficulties in receiving money directly from the industry; and it would not be easy to scale up voluntary contributions very quickly or proportionately to what is needed.

A compulsory levy would help to address all these issues. It would be more efficient to collect and distribute. Volumes would be predictable and levels could be linked to what is needed. It would also be fairer by eliminating free-riders.

The legislation for a compulsory levy already exists in the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab). The relevant provision can be activated by secondary legislation; and most of the industry trade associations are now in favour. We believe there to be strong arguments for now bringing it into operation.

The mechanics of how to distribute funding provided by a compulsory levy require further thought, including as part of the review of treatment provision we suggested previously.

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