UKGC provides £9m to GambleAware to fight gambling harm

Simona Boshkova | Published 30 Apr 2020, 9:38 a.m.

It has been reported on several occasions that the UK Gambling Commission has collected over £27m in penalties this year. As it seems, the Commission will collect a record number of funds this year, considering that it already has fined a number of operators that failed to comply with its regulations.

One of the operators that received penalty is Caesars Entertainment which, in fact, was fined with the highest amount of penalty so far. As it was announced, the operator failed to ensure some serious social responsibility, money laundering, and customer interaction procedures.

Apart from the penalties, the UKGC enforced the credit card gambling ban two weeks ago that was announced in January 2020. In its January announcement, the Commission detailed that the ban was necessary to protect at-risk players. Moreover, the regulator published safe online gambling guidance to help players stay safe and secure.

While many were wondering how the UKGC is going to spend the collected funds from penalties, the regulator announced that it will provide £9m to GambleAware.

GambleAware receives funds to fight problem gambling

The UK Gambling Commission has transferred £9m to GambleAware to help its charity that deals with problem gambling during the current situation. The charity, which is responsible for delivering the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm in the UK, will use the funds to help players that are considered as problem gamblers. Moreover, the funds will also be used to support gambling services to move to alternative online platforms.

The priority of the UKGC and GambleAware is ensuring that gambling harm support and treatment services will continue operating effectively, despite the additional pressures. The Commission’s own research showed that gambling activities have decreased this period, but some players are increasing their activities on online gambling, such as slots, poker, casino gaming, and virtual sports.

Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware said that they are grateful for the UKGC’s help which will help them provide greeted security around the funding of the National Gambling Treatment Service, and keep people safe from gambling harms.

William Moyes, Chairman of the Gambling Commission, stated that in these times with potential risks to British consumers, the Commission quickly funded GambleAware so their work to prevent gambling harm continues seamlessly. He added that through the Commission’s regulatory actions, such as the credit card gambling ban, they took wide-ranging actions to address the additional risk of harm.

UKGC updated society lottery prize limits

In the meantime, the UK Gambling Commission has updated the regulations for society lotteries and raised prize limits. The updates come after a consultation by the Commission that took place from December 2019 to March 2020.

With the new changes, limits on the size of society lotteries will be raised in line with recent legislation. That means that the limit of individual draw proceeds will rise to £5m from £4m, the annual aggregate limit proceeds will increase to £50m from £10m, and the maximum individual prize will rise to £500,000 from £400,000.

Sarah Gardner, the executive director of UKGC said that the consultation boosted some important aspects of their licence conditions and codes of practice for society lotteries. As she explained, these changes will ensure that consumers have access to all information that will help them decide whether to participate in lotteries or not.