Speaking at the Responsible Gambling Trust‘s third annual harm minimisation conference at the King’s Fund, London, Crouch paid tribute to the good work of both RGT and the gambling industry in working in conjunction with the government.
She said: “There is much that we can feel good about: A united endeavour between industry, regulator and government who work together to provide a safe and fun leisure industry. Goodwill alone however will not get us anywhere fast. The invaluable work of the RGT is to steer attention and resources where it can be of the most benefit in the shortest time possible.”
Her speech followed a call to the industry, from the charity’s Chairman Neil Goulden, to ‘up their game’ and increase voluntary donations to the RGT. RGT requests that industry donates 0.1% of Gross Gambling Yield to help fund education, treatment and research to minimise gambling-related harm. Latest Gambling Commission statistics show that this should total approximately £9 million per annum. Voluntary donations to RGT totalled £6.5 million in 2014/15.
Goulden told the conference: “Can I leave the following message for our industry colleagues – RGSB has set an ambitious programme of work for research, harm prevention and treatment and much depends on the industry contributing the amount requested by RGT – just 1p in every £10 of gross profit. Many operators are generous and go beyond what we ask but it is true to say a large number of operators contribute nothing and others short change the target.
“So today I am calling upon the trade associations, under the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling umbrella, to encourage operators to up their game in support of RGT. With your help, RGT has achieved a lot, but we have an ambitious agenda before us and we will need your support even more in the three years ahead.”