The gambling industry has once again made a clear testament of their altruistic side, following their voluntary donations towards the non-profit organization GambleAware. The total amount reached £9.4 which was warmly welcomed by the governance of Gamble Aware. This led them into publishing an open letter, thanking them for their noble gesture, with GambleAware also encouraging a continuous monetary support in the upcoming years. More specifically, Mr. Marc Etches the Chief Executive of the organization stated:
«Last October we made very public our concerns regarding the industry’s funding of GambleAware. Six months later, it is only fair that, just as publicly, we acknowledge and thank all those in the industry who have helped us to achieve a record-breaking £9.4 million in voluntary donations for the 12 months ending 31st March 2018.
This total represents a 16% increase on the previous year. Although the total was less than the minimum target of £10 million, which is expected to increase significantly, the industry’s response has been encouraging. We are now accepting donations for 2018/19 (year ending 31st March 2019) and donations can now be made online.
Also, we are asking anyone donating more than £1,000 to pledge your support by 31st June 2018 even if you intend to make the donation later in the year, and for those donating over £250,000 to commit to quarterly payments if you prefer not to make payments in full by 31st June 2018. These are just some of the actions we are taking to improve transparency and efficiency of the existing voluntary funding arrangements for the core research, education and treatment services required in the National Responsible Gambling Strategy.
Only by all operators contributing a minimum of 0.1% of GGY, and doing so promptly, can we ensure the charity has certainty that it can meet its financial obligations to those organizations it has commissioned, as well as commit confidently to future investment? In Great Britain, it is estimated that 430,000 people have a gambling problem and another 2 million are at risk of developing one.
This is a public health issue that requires all organizations that are interested in stepping up to the plate in the next twelve months, to work positively and collaboratively to help reduce gambling-related harms, so we are looking beyond license-holders for further sources of income and support.
Less than 2% of ‘problem gamblers’ are receiving treatment, representing a significant gap in services. With 2 million adults ‘at risk’ and nearly half a million 11 to 15-year-old children gambling every week in England and Wales (including 9,000 defined as ‘problem gamblers’), there is a need for significant investment in education and harm-prevention activity.
Later this month, GambleAware will publish updated commissioning and delivery plans for the next two years, underpinning its commitment to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy. For further information on how you can champion the work of GambleAware please do not hesitate to contact us.
Marc W Etches,
For those not familiar with GambleAware's work, they are a non-profit organization that actively promote safer gambling. They provide information to help people make informed decisions about any gambling issues. In addition, they help players find out more about the matter at hand and what safer gambling means, as well as understand and recognize the problem.