Due to the impact Covid-19 is having on operations across the UK we have had to reduce our phoneline opening hours.

Our phonelines are open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10 am and 4 pm.

The contact us service is also available for answers to common questions and we will aim to respond to these enquiries as quickly as possible.

If you have a question about your gambling, or the gambling of someone close to you, our FAQs from gambling consumers during lockdown may provide valuable information. Our what we do page also provides an overview of the types of queries we are able to help consumers with in the first instance.

The National Gambling Helpline is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through GamCare. It is there to support those suffering from gambling problems or those concerned about the affect gambling is having on people close to them. You can call them free on 0808 8020 133, or visit gamcare.org.uk.

If you are a gambling operator please read our Frequently Asked Questions for gambling businesses.
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Millions of pounds paid by gambling operators for their regulatory failings is to be used to help charities, that provide treatment and support for people experiencing gambling harm, during the Covid-19 crisis.

Some £9m in funds from regulatory settlements will be paid to GambleAware - a commissioning charity that supports initiatives to tackle gambling related harm across the country. 

The money, which will be for use by GambleAware and its partners, will be directed to help ensure treatment and support services can continue to operate effectively and withstand additional pressures on their services caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. The funds, which are taken from the regulatory settlements the Commission places on operators for social responsibility, customer interaction and money laundering failings, will help to address any increase in demand for such services, support the move of services to alternative models of delivery (such as online) and will build resilience in the treatment and support system during a period of uncertainty.

Research undertaken by the Commission indicates that gambling participation overall has come down since lockdown started, reflecting the closure of land based venues and cancellation of sporting events. However, there is evidence that some people are increasing their use of certain gambling products such as online slots, poker, casino gaming and virtual sports.

William Moyes, Chairman of the Gambling Commission, said: “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.”

Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, said: “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.”

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.

Notes to editors 

  1. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.
  2. Useful statistics on the gambling industry.
  3. Journalists can contact our press office on 0121 230 6700 or email: communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk
Posted on 29 April 2020