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Problem gambling help funding to increase

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Jun 27, 2007.

    Jun 27, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    RIGT seeks to double funding for problem gambling

    The Responsibility in Gambling Trust, Britains largest funding body for problem gambling, is seeking to double its income to GBP 7 million by 2010...and from responses thus far it looks as if its appeal will receive sympathetic consideration from online gambling companies.

    The Trust, which funds treatment services, education and research into problem gambling, raised GBP 3 million from the gambling industry in 2006/07 the largest amount ever donated. In the past three years, it has spent GBP 6 million on tackling problem gambling.

    John Greenway, Chairman of the Trust, said: Gambling is an increasingly popular pastime. We urgently need to educate the public about responsible gambling and to increase the range of treatment options available to those who may have a problem.

    RIGTs new five-year plan sets out our approach to researching and preventing problem gambling and to providing treatment for those who do have a problem, wherever they live. We will need gambling operators to increase their funding to RIGT to [a total of] GBP 7 million a year to pay for this work.

    We have been in discussion with gambling trade associations and large operators, most of whom have already signalled their support for our request. We will also be seeking to broaden our funding base and will be encouraging sports clubs, media companies and all other organisations involved in gambling to support our work.

    Our calculations are based partly on the current rates of take-up of treatment, and on the need to encourage more problem gamblers to seek help. However, we will be reviewing our position regularly: if there is a large increase in problem gambling or greater need for advice and treatment services we may have to call for additional funding to meet that demand.

    The Gambling Act 2005, which comes into force in September, makes it a legal requirement for all gambling operators to show how they support responsible gambling.

    Gambling Commission Chairman Peter Dean said: The Commission looks to all gambling operators to demonstrate their commitment to promoting socially responsible gambling. One of our requirements is that they must detail how they will contribute to research and public education on minimising the risk of problem gambling, and to the treatment of problem gamblers. Funding RIGT is an obvious way to do this. We will take a keen interest in how our licensees meet their social responsibility obligations when considering their continuing suitability to hold licences.

    Tom Kelly, Chief Executive of the Association of British Bookmakers said: The ABB fully supports the work of RIGT, and we are absolutely committed to helping combat problem gambling in Britain. We are recommending that bookmakers each contribute 0.05% of their gross win towards this important work.

    Nick Harding, President of BACTA, the UK's largest gaming trade association said: "BACTA takes its commitment to social responsibility very seriously in terms of direct staff training and in supporting RIGT. Recognising the need for all sectors of the UK Gaming industry to increase its contributions in order to properly fund the work of the RIGT we have introduced a new voluntary levy system for our members, with donation formula as follows:

    * Family Entertainment Centres and Adult Gaming Centres - 0.5% of annual AMLD in previous year
    * Gaming Machine Suppliers - 0.50 per average gaming machine sited
    * Manufacturers, Software Suppliers, Distributors and Importers of gaming/gambling products - 0.05% of all gaming/gambling sales revenue arising from sales in the UK

    Whilst this formula has been created specifically for BACTA members I would call on all licensed operators in the machines sector to support RIGT in this way. It is both our moral duty and in our economic interests to comply."

    Penelope, Viscountess Cobham, Chairman of the British Casino Association, said: "The British Casino Association (BCA), which represents 90% of the UK's land based casinos, requires as a condition of membership that all operators make an annual donation to the Gambling Trust. As an Association we are fully committed to support RIGT's approach to research and the prevention and treatment of problem gambling in a socially responsible environment. Our Members have been informed of the level of donations required to fund RIGT in the coming years."

    Clive Hawkswood, Chief Executive of the Remote Gambling Association said: We are calling on remote gambling operators in Britain to help the RIGT meet its funding target of GBP 7 million by contributing 0.05% of their gross gaming yield. We are also recommending that offshore operators who target the UK market make a minimum donation to the Trust of GBP10 000 each. We are pleased that many of our members have already agreed to provide this support this demonstrates a real commitment from the sector to helping combat problem gambling.

    Chris Bell, Chief Executive of Ladbrokes, said: "The Trust has an excellent plan for tackling problem gambling through education, awareness, research and treatment. As in previous years we will ensure that Ladbrokes is one of the lead funders to what is an essential programme moving forward."

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