Mandatory gambling levy to raise £100m in the UK

Mandatory gambling levy to raise £100m in the UK

Mandatory gambling levy to raise £100m in the UK
A much-debated topic in the United Kingdom,the idea of a mandatory gambling levy has been floated by responsible gambling advocates and NGOs for at least several years now. The re-regulation of Gambling Act 2005 is set to possibly include this 1% levy on online gambling companies, which could raise as much as £100m pounds every year. The funding could prove invaluable to various causes that have to do with safer gambling and consumer protection, and would be potentially used to help advanced treatment options on gambling addiction, double down on prevention, which is touted as the best method yet, and fund further research as legislators and the industry continue to quest for the proverbial evidence-based approach. Although a voluntary levy is already in place, many have criticized it as inefficient and its contributions – not truly proportionate to the supposed harm that originated from the industry in the first place. The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) issued a statement on Tuesday and described why a levy would be introduced, arguing that some operators had used the voluntary levy to contribute just a single British pound. Therefore, a new levy would be much better. The 1% levy would only apply to online casino business, with brick-and-mortar betting shops and casinos paying 0.4% instead. This news is welcomed by the many organizations that work in the responsible gambling sector and that have been fighting for a safer future for consumers. Of course, there has been a fair deal of fearmongering, with lobbyists and some businesses going so far as to predict a “collapse” brought around by a potential levy such as the one outlined by the companies. Big gambling firms, though, may seem more inclined than not to support the proposal, even only for reputational gains. Presently, the biggest firms in the United Kingdom are the ones that drive the bulk of voluntary contributions, with smaller businesses possibly turning a blind eye or paying lip service to the levy, as explained by the DCMS with only miniscule contributions that raise more questions than they elicit praise. As to the government, the UK Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew believes that gambling firms need to pay their “fair share” and that a new statutory levy could see them to do just that. Publications such as the Guardian, a local media outlet, has said that the industry is paying as little as 0.1% in some instances, which is “insultingly little,” and that this would now be about to change should the levy come into effect. Under the proposed levy the National Health Service is set to become the main commissioner of treatment, the DCMS confirmed in the official statement published on its website. Image credit:

17 OCT 2023

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