UK Gambling: 1% Levy to Fund Addiction Research


The British government said on Tuesday it was considering a new levy on online gambling companies of up to 1%, a move it said would raise 100 million pounds a year to fund the research, prevention and treatment of gambling addiction.

Although there is already a voluntary levy, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said in a statement that some operators only pay £1 towards research, prevention and treatment.

“The government intends to set the levy as a new tax of 1% on gross gaming returns for online gaming operators, while traditional betting shops and casinos will pay a proposed tax of around 0 .4%,” the DCMS said.

In April, the government outlined plans to tackle excessive gambling and update regulations after a surge in betting via smartphones on apps and other online platforms where bets can be accessed with the click of a button.

The government, whose proposals included new online wagering limits of between £2 and £15, said on Tuesday it was launching a consultation on the design of the proposed levy on gambling operators.

Funding this new tax would enable new investment in the National Health Service (NHS) in England, Scotland and Wales, the statement added.

The government said the charity GambleAware would receive £34.7 million from the industry through the voluntary levy in 2021/22, with further contributions going to other charities.

Britain is home to some of the world’s largest betting companies, including Entain, which owns the Ladbrokes and Coral brands, and Flutter, which operates FanDuel and Paddy Power, among others.

“Gambling companies should always pay their fair share and this new statutory levy will ensure they are legally required to do so,” said Stuart Andrew, the government’s gaming minister.

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