Please Wait, Loading Content...

UK government planning new levy for betting companies

Betting shops in trouble for

The UK government is reportedly set to implement a new standardized levy on betting companies and divert the funds to organizations that provide treatment to problem gamblers.

A portion of the proceeds will be given to the NHS and serve to compensate for previous years when UK betting operators exploited loopholes in their obligations and paid insufficient sums.

The proposal is part of the awaited gambling white paper under review by the government. The document, which has been delayed a number of times, is said to be the “most comprehensive” review of the country’s betting regulations in the 18 years since the Gambling Act was issued in 2005.

Gambling operators licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are currently allowed to make contributions of varying amounts each year to organizations that “deliver research, harm prevention and treatment for those harmed by gambling”.

Due to the fact that the fee is not a specific amount, betting firms have paid numerous sums over the years, some much lower than expected. To curb this, lawmakers have opted to make the payment standard and compulsory and, in the process, level the playing field.

The news of the gaming levy comes barely a week after the UKGC fined betting operator William Hill £19.2 million for customer protection and anti money laundering failings.

The NHS opposed receiving voluntary funds from the gambling companies, claiming that doing so would be a conflict of interest. However, it appears that introducing the gambling levy would make a way around the issue.

The UKGC will reportedly carry out a consultation to determine the specifics of the new levy and how to modify it to suit the profits and revenues of different firms.

“A new statutory levy could directly fund the NHS to expand treatment services for gambling addiction to ensure people have access to the services they need, when and where they need them,” a government source said.

“Many researchers will not accept voluntary funding from [the gambling] industry. The independence of research funded by it has been called into question. The levy would therefore provide long-term, reliable funding, including for the NHS.”

The Betting and Gaming Council’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, expressed his support for the levy. He also emphasized the importance of it reaching the actual people that need it rather than “the cottage industry of anti-gambling prohibitionists, masquerading their biased work as ‘research'”.

In contrast, there are reports that during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak opposed the levy. At the time, he pointed out that billions were already paid in tax, and issuing a compulsory levy would be equivalent to operating a “nanny state”.

More gambling news

, , , , ,
Share this post on:

Join the Betting Planet team!

Are you passionate about sports betting? Sports news writers required TODAY!

Experienced preferred but not essential. (All apps considered).

View Careers at Race Media
  • Live Betting Odds
  • Claim a 50% deposit bonus up to the value of USD $250

Top Online Casinos