The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has urged the government to change how it funds anti-problem gambling measures, calling the current system “unfit for purpose”.
The association wants a statutory levy introduced to replace the current system in which gambling companies voluntarily funding research into problem gambling, adding that a levy would ensure the National Responsible Gambling Strategy is properly funded.
Clive Hawkswood, the RGA’s chief executive, said: “A statutory levy will ensure the right funds are raised in a fair and open process and, crucially, that they are allocated in a way that is transparent, independent, and achieves measurable benefits.”
The call comes after the government’s Triennial Review on the industry put pressure on gambling companies to “step up” on funding or face the introduction of a mandatory levy.
“There has been much to commend in the voluntary funding system, but if we are to combat problem gambling to the best of our ability and to minimise gambling related harm, then now is the time for change and for a fresh start,” Hawkswood added.
Echoing this sentiment, the RGA said in a statement: “Without this support there would have been few or no specialist treatment services, […] and less resource available for research and education.”
However, the associated added that “it has become increasingly clear that this system is no longer fit for purpose” to fund anti-problem gambling education and research.