GambleAware’s CEO Discusses Statutory Levy Consultations
GambleAware’s Zoë Osmond has expressed her excitement about the statutory levy consultations, which would require all UK operators to contribute a portion of their revenues to gambling harm research and treatment. This measure was outlined in the Gambling Act white paper and has been long-awaited by the charity sector.
Osmond stated that GambleAware has been waiting for this measure for years and is pleased to see it finally happening. The charity sector, which previously relied on voluntary donations, will now have much-needed security. However, Osmond also raised some concerns about the proposed approach.
While Osmond believes that the levy can potentially transform the charity sector and help more people across Britain access gambling harm treatment, she noted that there are several “core elements in the proposed approach” that could negatively impact service provision.
One of the main points raised by Osmond is the need for a National Strategy for the Prevention and Treatment of Gambling Harms, which was not included in the proposals. She emphasized that such a strategy is essential to transform the system of prevention and treatment.
Additionally, GambleAware would prefer to see a single Prevention and Treatment Commissioner responsible for increasing awareness of societal issues and accessibility of gambling harm treatment services. In the absence of such a commissioner, Osmond believes that it is crucial for the Treatment and Prevention Commissioners to work together effectively.
Osmond also highlighted the importance of focusing on prevention and early intervention, rather than solely on treatment. She stated that the proposed funding allocations do not adequately reflect GambleAware’s desire to prioritize prevention.
Furthermore, Osmond raised concerns about the current definitions of treatment and prevention used in the consultation, noting that prevention is broken down into primary, secondary, and tertiary approaches. She recommended the co-commissioning of these interventions and proposed that national public awareness campaigns and digital early interventions should fall under the remit of the Prevention Commissioner.
Finally, Osmond emphasized the need for a smooth transition to the new system to avoid depriving the third sector of funding and disrupting the availability of services. She hopes that her concerns will be addressed so that the levy can reach its full transformational potential.