- NHS becomes main treatment commissioner due to gambling tax – providing an estimated 100 million a year for research, prevention and treatment
- Governments must act to fund long-term treatment, prevention and research from existing voluntary mechanisms
- The consultation was launched to gather views from industry, clinicians, academics, people who have experienced harmful gambling and the wider public
The NHS will benefit as the new levy will raise around $100 million in new funding for research, prevention and treatment of gambling addiction.
Following the publication of a white paper on gambling in April, the Government is now taking the next step in forcing the sector to pay by launching a consultation on the design of its proposed gambling operator levy .
Currently, not all gambling companies contribute equally to the existing voluntary levy, with some operators paying just $1 towards research, prevention and treatment. Therefore, the Government is taking action to ensure all operators pay their fair share.
To improve research, prevention and treatment of gambling harm, the Government intends to set this levy as a new 1% fee on gross gambling profits for online gambling operators, while Betting shops and traditional casinos will pay a suggested fee of around 0.4 %.
The white paper proposed a fair and proportionate approach to taxation between different operators, taking into account differences, for example in operating costs and the level of harmful gambling involved. various gambling activities.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:
We’re taking the next step in our plan to protect those most at risk of harm from gambling with a new levy on gambling operators to pay for treatment and study.
All gambling operators will be asked to pay their fair share and this consultation is an opportunity for the industry, clinicians, those who have experienced gambling harm and the public to more widely have their say on how the proposed gambling operator tax is implemented.
Introducing this levy will strengthen the safety net and help deliver on our long-term plan to help build stronger communities while allowing millions of people to continue to gamble safely.
Technology has reshaped where, when and how people gamble, and online gambling behavior has increased dramatically due to easy access on smartphones, making it possible for anyone to gamble. everytime everywhere.
Figures from the NHS Digital Health Survey also show that some of these online products are linked to increased levels of gambling-related addiction and harm from problem gambling, with rates of 8 times more people play online gambling and casino games than the entire population.
Under the proposed tax, the gambling industry would no longer have a say in how money is spent on research, prevention and treatment. Instead, the Gambling Commission will distribute funding directly to the NHS and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which coordinates funding for research and innovation, under the government strategy. The tax will be reinforced by law, meaning companies will have to pay it.
The funding provided through this levy will deliver significant new investment for the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales, which will increase access to treatment and support for people experiencing related harm to gambling. It will also help develop a truly national approach to prevention and fund high-quality, independent research to inform policy and practice.
In July this year, the NHS announced that seven new specialist gambling addiction clinics would open in Milton Keynes, Thurrock, Derby, Bristol, Liverpool, Blackpool and Sheffield this year. This is in addition to seven clinics already operating in London, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Telford, as well as an additional national clinic, treating both gambling addiction and Gaming in children and adolescents. , in London.
Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said:
We know that gambling addiction can devastate lives, which is why we’re working fast to deliver on our bold reform plans.
This consultation takes us one step closer to being able to deliver 100 million in new funding for research, prevention and treatment, including ring-fenced investment for the NHS to help addicts gamble.
Gambling companies must always pay their fair share and this new statutory levy will ensure that they are legally required to do so.
Health Minister Neil O’Brien said:
Harmful gambling can affect people’s savings, ruin relationships and wreak havoc on people’s lives and health.
Gambling companies must pay their fair share of the costs of treatment services, but we want to hear from as many people as possible on how the new statutory levy will be applied.
We continue to work to support those affected by the harmful effects of gambling. Twelve of the fifteen planned NHS gambling addiction clinics have now opened across the country, providing vital support services to thousands of people experiencing gambling-related harm as well as their loved ones their. The remaining three zones are expected to open later this year.
Henrietta Bowden-Jones, National Clinical Adviser on Harm Gambling, said:
I welcome this Levy which reflects the government’s decision to fund the treatment, prevention, research and education of gambling in an independent and evidence-based way that allows us to continue our work to eradicate gambling. remove all harmful effects of gambling from society.
NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch said:
Gambling addiction ruins people’s lives and with record numbers turning to the NHS for support, the health service has responded to this need by opening four new specialist clinics in recent months, and three more clinics later this year.
The NHS has long called for a statutory levy because it is right that this multi-billion pound industry steps up to support problem gamblers and I am delighted that action has been taken to prevent people from being harmed in the first place. It is important now that we continue to work together to ensure we provide effective prevention, education and treatment for this condition.
The Government’s Gambling White Paper, published in April 2023, sets out a range of measures to improve player protection and reduce the risk of gambling addiction and harm in the mobile age smart. Measures such as financial risk checks to better alert operators to risky behaviour, stake limits for online slot machines, tighter controls on bonus marketing and a new mandatory gambling operator levy designed to reduce risk and improve player protection.
The Government and the Gambling Commission continue to implement the measures outlined in the white paper with a view to implementing key elements by summer 2024.
Notes to editors
- Read the white paper on gambling
- The consultation will be open for feedback for eight weeks.
- A statutory levy on gambling operators will provide independent and sustainable funding to improve and expand services across the treatment pathway:
- From the National Gambling Helpline, to gambling-related harm counseling services provided by the third sector, to specialist gambling addiction services in the NHS and inpatient treatment for people with severe gambling disorder.
- The levy will also provide new funding for all three nations of the UK to build a system of support, prevention and treatment that meets public need, including treatments as well as advice on gambling-related debt and support for others affected by gambling. harm.
- This is an opportunity to integrate services across the support and roadmap to tackle gambling-related harm, ensuring that people across the country can access the right help they need. where and when they need it.
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