New three year voluntary donations system agreed

Arguments over the voluntary funding by UK gambling companies of the Responsibility in Gambling Trust were resoved this week with the announcement by the minister for sport, Gerry Sutcliffe, that he has accepted a new, three-year voluntary funding arrangement with betting and gaming operators that will provide at least GBP15 million for problem gambling research, education and treatment.

The agreement ends an impasse where insufficient funds had been voluntarily provided, leading to government threats that it would impose a mandatory levy in order to sustain the RIGT (see previous InfoPowa reports).

According to a report in The Racing Post, a mandatory levy remains a government option. Sutcliffe apparently said Tuesday that the mechanism for a mandatory scheme was in place, and he warned he would not be afraid to use it if the industry came up short with voluntary funding.

“I’m very pleased we have managed to secure the future of this important work without the need for new legislation, and I’m confident the new structure will be successful," said the minister. “But if, in the coming months, it becomes clear that it is not working, I will not hesitate to bring in a statutory levy.

“The protection of vulnerable people remains my No. 1 priority, and I will not be giving the industry a second chance to put this right.”

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