UK player protection charity GambleAware has released further details on how it plans to use Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) member funding. 

Four leading BGC member companies said last year that they would collectively donate £100 million to provide better treatment for problem gamblers in the UK. 

GambleAware agreed at the time that it would make sure these funds reached the parties they were intended for. 

Donations to rise year-on-year 

Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, bet365 and Entain agreed to donate £100 million in June 2020.

The four companies are expected to donate the first £5 million by the end of this financial year; they have contributed £2.2 million so far. 

Over 2021-2022, they will contribute a minimum of £10 million. This is expected to then rise to £25 million in the following financial year, and £35 million in 2023-2024. 

In a letter to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), GambleAware CEO Marc Etches said the following:

“GambleAware is working with the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS to ensure the best use of this pledged funding, and to align and integrate the expansion of treatment services across the whole system, so patients get the right treatment at the right time.” 

“We intend on updating an amended figure each year” 

The BGC members’ donations will equate to around 0.1%-0.25% of their gross gambling yield (GGY) for 2020. For 2021, this will be 0.5%, and for 2022 and 2023 their donations will reflect 0.75% of their GGY. 

Last June, the companies had agreed to donate £25 million above the £100 million figure. However, as BGC Chair Brigid Simmonds said in a letter last July, year-to-year GGY in and of itself will vary. 

Simmonds said: 

“We intend on updating an amended figure each year, so this should be seen as a floor to funding with additional funding spread out over years two to four. 

“The large operators have shown a strong commitment to increasing RET, and we will look to encourage more operators across the industry to demonstrate their own commitment in a way that makes more funds available for funding the effort to make gambling safer and the provision of treatment that goes with it.”

The extra £25 million will be spread in a sustainable manner

According to Etches, the £25 million left out of the companies’ donation figures will be spread equally between this April and March 2024. For the most part, this is because of the possible economic impacts that may stem from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Etches said:

“For its part, GambleAware plans to publish a new Strategic Commissioning Plan in April 2021 that will detail the charity’s objectives for commissioning prevention and treatment services during the next five years.”