GambleAware defends RET funding structure

Simona Boshkova | Published 9 Jul 2020, 2:08 p.m.

GambleAware is a wholly independent, grant-making charity that uses best practices in commissioning, service planning, evaluation and reporting to prevent gambling harms. It has an agreement with the UK Gambling Commission to deliver the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and, in April 2020, it received £9m from the UKGC to fight gambling harm.

About a week ago, a report from the UK’s House of Lords has set out a widespread series of proposals to strengthen the gambling regulatory framework in the UK. The proposals include stake limits and a ban on gambling sports sponsorship. In addition, there has been a proposal for changes to the funding of gambling research, education and treatment (RET) for which the Lords received plenty of criticism. GambleAware has defended its position on the RET funding structure and has responded to recent calls for changes.

Treatment providers are free to raise funds for whatever purpose they think appropriate

When the Lords published the report for drastic regulatory changes, they stated that GambleAware must correct its current RET funding directives so that charities are able to raise money from other sources without endangering their current funding structures. In addition, the Lords underlined concerns by UK public health stakeholders which claimed that RET funding could be blocked by a lack of independence on funding.

GambleAware has defended its position on the RET funding structure. Responding to these concerns, GambleAware CEO Marc Etches explained that all treatment providers are free to raise funds for whatever purpose they think appropriate. Moreover, Etches stated that GambleAware has no impact on how RET partners handle their accounts and how they access funding apart from its contributions.

Furthermore, Etches said that GambleAware Trustees have only one risk when it comes to RET funding, known as the duplicate funding. He explained that treatment providers aren’t allowed to seek to get paid twice for the same activity. Etches also noted that in the report, there were concerns about the funding processes which currently prevent new activities from being funded by ensuring that no additional funds can be raised. To this, he said that GambleAware welcomes all worthwhile new activities, whether funded by itself or by a third party.

GambleAware launches new initiatives for safer gambling

At the meantime, GambleAware has launched two new initiatives to raise awareness for safer gambling as part of its Safer Gambling Campaign. Following the return of football in the UK, one of the GambleAware’s campaigns will be focused on making bettors aware of the risks of impulsive betting. It’s planned for the campaign to include the GambleAware’s BetRegret initiative, encouraging bettors to think twice before placing a bet.

Additionally, GambleAware will promote the National Gambling Treatment Service by promoting new advertising content for safer gambling across digital platforms, as well as in the national and regional press. One of the main purposes of these campaigns is to treat problem gambling and to increase knowledge of the signs that someone may be suffering from gambling issues. It’s expected that the campaigns will be targeted at young men with the aim of directing them to the National Gambling Treatment Service.