SBC News GambleAware: 2022/23 operator donations underscore RET levy importance

GambleAware: 2022/23 operator donations underscore RET levy importance

GambleAware has published its donor list for 2022/23, revealing that the four largest UK betting operators contributed the lion’s share of funds, a continuation of a long-running trend.

The total number of donations as of 31 March 2023 was £46.5m, with the four largest bookmakers – bet365, Flutter Entertainment, Entain and Wiliam Hill – contributing a total of £42.9m together, accounting for 92% of funds.

Of these businesses, Flutter was in the lead with a £16.4m donation split between its Paddy Power Betfair and Sky Bet holdings, followed by Entain at £15..2m, bet365 at £4.9m and William Hill at £4.5m.

Donations from Densie Coates’ bet365 were split across the firm’s Hillside (UK Sports) ENC, Hillside (Technology) Ltd and Hillside (UK Gaming) ENC entities, which contributed £2.4m, £1.6m and £907k respectively.

Meanwhile, William Hill’s parent company 888 Holdings, which completed its acquisition of the UK legacy brand three months into the 2022/23 financial year in June 2022, contributed £190,000.

GambleAware’s donations list marks two major changes from last year – firstly, Flutter has taken the lead as the biggest donor, with bet365 holding the top spot for 2021/22.

Secondly, the total number of donations marks an increase of 65% on the figure from the last financial year, which stood at £16m. GambleAware attributed this to the largest operators’ commitment to increase the proportion of GGY from 0.1% to 1% by 2023/24.

Zoe Osmund, GambleAware
Zoë Osmond, GambleAware CEO

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “As the leading independent charity and strategic commissioner of gambling harm prevention and treatment across Great Britain, funding is key to ensure the effective delivery of the National Gambling Support Network and our many other programmes of work to address and prevent gambling harm.”

GambleAware uses the funding from operators to support its four key commissioning objectives of raising awareness, countering inequalities, boosting service capacity and providing access to support.

Funding is also directed towards financing the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS), the Annual Treatment and Support Survey and Gambling Education Hubs, and achieving the objectives of GambleAware’s five year plan.

Upon publishing its donations list, GambleAware has reiterated its support for the creation of a research, education and treatment (RET) levy, one of the main proposals of the recently revealed Gambling Act review White Paper.

The terms of the RET levy are not quite clear, however, with no definitive percentage of operator revenue determined and no clear start date for reforms announced.

GambleAware has previously argued that there are disparities to the current funding model, and that operators need to be ‘held accountable’ with a statutory levy for RET activity.

Outside of the big four operators and 888, other major donors in the 2022/23 list were National Lottery operator Camelot UK (£445,000), BetVcitor (£188,772), Buzz Group (£88,294), GAN (£71,539), Rank (£70,892), Betfred (£50,000) and Betway (£43,400).

“We welcome government plans to introduce a statutory levy as outlined in its Gambling White Paper, which will help provide stable funding,” Osmund concluded.

“We hope that changes will be made swiftly, as any significant delay in moving to the statutory levy risks slowing down the pace at which we have been, and plan to continue, transforming prevention and treatment services as outlined in our five year organisational strategy.”

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