Date: 11.01.2024

by Mateusz Mazur

GambleAware Embraces New Statutory Levy for Tackling Gambling Harms

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, has publicly supported the introduction of a statutory industry levy to fund research, prevention, and treatment (RPT) of gambling harms.

This development marks a significant shift in the efforts to combat gambling-related issues in the UK.

A New Era for Gambling Harm Prevention

The statutory levy, long advocated for by GambleAware, promises a more structured approach to funding gambling harm initiatives. It aims to provide stability and continuity in funding, enabling long-term planning and minimizing duplicated efforts in the sector.

GambleAware views the levy as a transformative tool for preventing and treating gambling harms. However, Osmond points out some critical aspects of the proposed approach that need refinement. She emphasizes the necessity of a National Strategy for the Prevention and Treatment of Gambling Harms to bolster the new system’s effectiveness.

Advocating a Public Health Approach

GambleAware advocates for a public health approach to address gambling harms. They propose having a single Prevention and Treatment Commissioner or, alternatively, ensuring close collaboration between separate commissioners within a strategic framework. This approach aims to increase awareness and ensure equal accessibility to services across Great Britain.

The organization stresses the importance of retaining the third sector’s expertise in prevention and treatment. GambleAware also calls for a reevaluation of the proposed funding allocations, suggesting a more significant emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

Clarifying Treatment and Prevention Definitions

GambleAware recommends the co-commissioning of Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions and proposes that national public awareness campaigns and digital early interventions fall under the Prevention Commissioner’s remit. This recommendation seeks to ensure a comprehensive and accessible approach to prevention services.

Osmond underscores the importance of including a range of stakeholders in the process, from primary care and social care sectors to local authorities and people with lived experiences of gambling harm.

With the transition to the new system, GambleAware emphasizes the need for stability and clear funding guidelines to avoid disrupting existing support and treatment services.

Our Comment on the Article

GambleAware’s proactive stance on the new statutory levy for gambling harm research and treatment highlights a crucial evolution in tackling gambling-related issues. Their emphasis on a strategic, public health approach, along with the integration of diverse stakeholder perspectives, sets a progressive path forward.

The organization’s advocacy for a balanced focus on prevention and treatment reflects a deep understanding of the complexities of gambling harms. As the UK moves towards implementing this levy, it will be essential to consider these insights to ensure a comprehensive and effective framework for reducing gambling-related harm. GambleAware’s role in this transition is pivotal, not only in shaping policy but also in maintaining the momentum of current support systems during this transformative period.