The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has allocated £9m Fund to GambleAware – a commissioning charity that supports initiatives to tackle gambling-related harm across the country. The fund will be used to provide treatment and support for people experiencing gambling harm, during the Covid-19 crisis.
Research undertaken by the UKGC indicates that gambling participation overall has come down since lockdown started, reflecting the closure of land-based venues and cancellation of sporting events. However, there is evidence that some people are increasing their use of certain gambling products such as online slots, poker, casino gaming and virtual sports.
“In the current climate, and with the potential risks to British consumers in mind, we have fast-tracked this settlement-driven funding to GambleAware so their work to prevent gambling harms and award grants can continue seamlessly. In addition to a tough and flexible regulatory system, it’s vital that organisations such as GambleAware and their partners can continue the great work they do, especially at times when there is an elevated risk of gambling harm with people staying at home due to social distancing measures,” William Moyes, Chairman of the Gambling Commission, said.
“Through the use of regulatory action to prevent harm, such as the ban of credit for gambling, alongside the use of regulatory settlements to support treatment services, the Commission is taking wide ranging action to address the additional risk of harm that may come from Covid-19,” William Moyes added.
“We welcome the receipt of these regulatory settlements at this uncertain time. Guided by a public health model, GambleAware commissions prevention and treatment services across England, Scotland and Wales in partnership with expert organisations and agencies, including the NHS. These funds will enable us to provide greater security around the funding of the National Gambling Treatment Service, and help keep people safe from gambling harms,” Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, said.