The UK government has launched a consultation on plans to introduce a new mandatory gambling levy to raise additional funds for research, education and treatment (RET) into gambling harm.
Proposed as one of the measures in the Gambling Act white paper, the government said the tax would raise around $100.0 million ($115.5 million/$121.7 million) per year.
The statutory levy will be paid by operators to the Gambling Commission. The purpose of this is to ensure that all UK licensed operators pay their fair share. The current voluntary tax collection system allows operators to pay whatever they want.
As a result, the new levy will be set at a 1% fee on gross gambling profits for online gambling operators. Betting shops and traditional casinos will pay a suggested fee of around 0.4%.
The consultation is currently ongoing and runs until 14 December.
Culture secretary Lucy Frazer said: “We are 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 cover costs. pay for treatment and research.
All gambling operators will have to pay their fair share. This consultation is an opportunity for the industry, clinicians, people who have experienced harm from gambling and the general public to have a say on how tax is applied to the gambling operator in question. export.
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.
The Levy will enable significant new investment in the NHS
If this tax goes into effect, the gambling industry will no longer have a say in how its money is spent. Instead, the Gambling Commission will distribute funding directly to the NHS and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The latter coordinates research and innovation funding, under the strategic direction of the government.
The government said the new funding will deliver significant new investment for the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales. It added that this would increase access to treatment and support for people experiencing gambling-related harm.
Additionally, the government said it will help develop a national prevention approach. It will also fund high-quality, independent research to inform policy and practice.
Gambling minister Stuart Andrew said: We know that gambling addiction can devastate lives, which is why we are moving quickly to deliver on our bold reform plans.
This consultation takes us one step closer to being able to provide $100 million in new funding for research, prevention and treatment. This includes ring-fenced investment in the NHS to help problem gamblers.
Gambling companies must always pay their fair share. This new statutory levy will ensure that they are legally required to do so.
Opened a new gambling addiction clinic
In July this year, the NHS announced seven new gambling addiction clinics would be opening across England. This is in addition to seven clinics already operating in London, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Telford. An additional national clinic specializing in the treatment of gambling and gaming addiction in children and young people also opened in London.
Health Secretary Neil O’Brien added that harmful gambling can impact 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.
BGC supports a mandatory tax collection plan
UK industry body the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has come out in support of the plans. However, it requires the levy to go further and apply to all operators, including the National Lottery.
The BGC said, “We believe this regulation should apply to all operators including the National Lottery without prejudice to legitimate causes, who inevitably encounter problems with gamble when gambling with their products such as scratch cards and instant win games.
It must also be applied on a sliding scale, with a smaller percentage contribution from land-based operators, including the independent betting shops on our high streets that are having to struggling to recover from the pandemic and incurring disproportionately higher fixed costs.
There must also be adequate oversight to ensure tax dollars are only distributed to charities and organizations providing genuine RET services to ensure long-term, sustainable funding, including protecting Existing third sector providers are doing important work and may now be at risk
The white paper outlines major changes to the UK gambling landscape
The mandatory tax up for debate is just one of many proposals put forward in the highly anticipated white paper.
Other key topics covered in the white paper include affordability testing. The offer is for players who lose 1,000 within 24 hours or 2,000 within a 90 day period, subject to a detailed check for affordability.
Additionally, operators will have to carry out passive checks on players whose net losses exceed 125 per month or 500 per year.
The white paper also proposes consultation on bet limits and plans to implement limits of between 2 and 15 per spin. The lower threshold will apply to new accounts.
There could also be easing of restrictions on land, such as allowing casinos to offer on-site sports betting. Restrictions on slot machines in larger casinos could also be relaxed, with a 5:1 ratio for slots and table games.
On the advertising front, the Gambling Commission will hold a consultation on the proposed new controls for customers. Meanwhile, a new gambling ombudsman could be introduced to give customers a point of contact for questions about the industry.
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