£9 million to boost gambling harm treatment during Covid-19
29 April 2020
Gambling Commission directs £9m to boost resilience of gambling harm treatment services during Covid-19.
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.
£9 million in funds from regulatory settlements will be paid to GambleAware (opens in new tab) - a commissioning charity that supports initiatives to tackle gambling related harm across the country.
The funds were taken from regulatory settlements that the Commission places on operators for:
- social responsibility
- customer interaction
- money laundering failings.
The money will be used to ensure treatment and support services can continue to operate effectively and withstand additional pressure on their services caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It will also be used to 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.
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 £27 million in penalty packages. The action was taken for systemic failings around anti-money laundering, social responsibility and VIP practices.
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