The mandatory levy on gambling firms set out in the gambling white paper earlier this year (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/government-plans-mandatory-levy-on-gambling-firms/) will raise £100m in new funding for treatment, research and prevention, the government states. It means the NHS will become the main commissioner of gambling treatment services.
Following publication of the much-delayed white paper, the government is now taking the ‘next step in mandating payments from the sector’ by launching a consultation on the design of the levy. The government is ‘minded to’ set the levy as a 1 per cent fee on gross yield for online gambling operators, and 0.4 per cent for betting shops and casinos, which have higher fixed costs, it states. At the moment the levy is voluntary which means that not all gambling companies contribute equally, with some paying as little as £1. ‘The government is therefore acting to ensure all operators contribute their fair share,’ it says.
Under the proposed levy, the industry will also no longer have a say in how the money is spent, with the funding instead being distributed by the Gambling Commission directly to the NHS and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The levy will be ‘underpinned by legislation, meaning firms will be required to pay’.
The consultation – which will be open until 8 December – is being launched to ‘gather views from industry, clinicians, practitioners, academics, those who have experienced harmful gambling and the wider public’ the government adds.
‘We know that gambling addiction can devastate lives, which is why we are working quickly to implement our bold plans for reform,’ said gambling minister Stuart Andrew. ‘This consultation brings us a step closer to being able to provide £100m of new funding for research, prevention and treatment, including ring fenced investment for the NHS to help gambling addicts. Gambling firms should always pay their fair share and this new statutory levy will ensure that they are legally required to do just that.’
Meanwhile, OHID is consulting on the UK’s first ever set of clinical guidelines for alcohol treatment. The guidelines are split into two documents, with the first covering the core elements of alcohol treatment and the second looking at specific sectors and populations.
Gambling levy consultation at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-statutory-levy-on-gambling-operators
UK clinical guidelines for alcohol treatment at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/uk-clinical-guidelines-for-alcohol-treatment/uk-clinical-guidelines-for-alcohol-treatment-consultation-document until 8 December