Government launches consultation on statutory levy for RET - BGC response
A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “BGC members pledged £100m over four years to fund Research, Education and Treatment (RET) services to help prevent gambling-related harm and tackle problem gambling, which is paid through a unique voluntary levy scheme. They have gone further and will have donated £110m by March 2024, helping to protect the vital work of third sector RET providers.
“This current voluntary levy funds an independent network of charities which treats around 85 per cent of all problem gamblers receiving treatment in Great Britain. RET donations only go to charities accredited by the Gambling Commission and BGC members have no say on how the funding is spent.
“The BGC supports a new mandatory levy - indeed we proposed this to the Government ahead of the White Paper. Our industry has been the majority funder of RET for over 20 years. However, we believe it should apply to all operators including the National Lottery, without affecting good causes, who are not immune to having problem gamblers gamble with their products like scratch cards and instant win games.
“It must also be applied on a sliding scale, with smaller percentage contributions from land-based operators, including independent betting shops on our high streets that have struggled to recover after the pandemic and incur disproportionately higher fixed costs.
“There must also be adequate oversight to ensure levy funds are only distributed to charities and organisations delivering genuine RET services to ensure long-term, sustainable funding - including protecting existing third sector providers who are already doing vital work and who may now be at risk”.