The UK’s gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission, has announced £9 million in funding support for a leading gambling charity, in the latest generous donation funded by the sector.
The funding will come from fines raised from online and land-based casinos this year, part of a total £27 million in financial penalties. The donation is set to go to GambleAware, the charity funded by the gambling industry to raise awareness of problematic gambling behaviours.
The Gambling Commission is responsible for regulating operators in the UK, and provides licensing for gambling firms online and off looking to trade in the UK.
As the regulator, they also have powers under the Gambling Act to issue fines for firms in breach of their obligations, as well as raising funds from licensing fees and other levies and charges.
The donation is aimed at helping the charity provide support to those affected by problem gambling during the ongoing pandemic, and comes as part of a range of measures currently being undertaken by gambling licensees in the UK in response to the ongoing developments.
It comes after GambleAware said it expected donations for the year to exceed its target of £10 million, the first time the charity has been able to surpass this limit since it was founded. However, the charity has said it may require between £15 and £20 million for the year ahead, subject to the publication of its updated delivery plan.
Gambling Commission research has shown that levels of gambling have significantly fallen during the pandemic, in line with the drop off in live sports. As a result, sports betting has all but ceased, with the expectation that levels of participation will remain low until competitive sport can safely resume.
The increased funding for GambleAware comes at the same time as the UK National Lottery operator Camelot announced a new package of £600 million, which would be targeted at arts and community organisations affected by the fallout from coronavirus.
It comes in addition to the £1.65 billion to good causes the Lottery has already raised this year, and is expected to help organisations across “the arts, community and charity, heritage, sport, education, and environment.”