Some of the UK’s largest gambling firms are going to offer the government a huge increase in contributions to help combat problem gambling in the country. These firms include Coral, Betfair, William Hill, Paddy Power, Skybet and Bet26.
It has been stated that over the next 5 years, they will increase the levy given to the government from 0.1% to 1%. It is estimated that the new amount given will be able to raise around £100m a year for charities who combat gambling.
This is significantly more than the £10m that was raised by these firms last year.
The UK Gambling Commission have claimed that they required around £70m from the gambling industry in order to fund new research and treatment, as well as hire more staff. The firms involved have also claimed that they will aim to review the content of their advertising, and they will increase the number of messages promoting safe gambling.
The firms have made this offer in a letter sent to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The Secretary of State at the DCMS, Jeremy Wright, has said that he wants the gambling industry to “step up” on social responsibility and keep their customers “safe”. He has claimed this can be done through more investment in research, education and treatment to tackle the problems with gambling.
Wright also said “Protecting people and their families from the risks of gambling-related harm is a priority for this government and I am encouraged that the sector now recognises that they need to do more”
In the Letter to Jeremy Wright, the firms have stated that they are “committing to collaborate to address gambling related harm with the priority of protecting the young and vulnerable”.
This comes after the deputy leader of Labour party, Tom Watson, had already labelled the problem gambling in the UK as a health crisis because it can be a cause of loneliness, debt and unfortunately even suicide. Watson has claimed that all gambling firms should reapply for their licenses to ensure their commitment to tackling problem gambling.