One year on: UK gaming industry falls short of fundraising target

One year on: UK gaming industry falls short of fundraising target

Monday, June 19, 2017 Posted by James Walker
The RSGB said its 12 priority actions should continue to be pursued with ‘energy and commitment’

While UK gambling firms have made some progress with regard to the country’s responsible gaming strategy, the industry as a whole does not yet meet GambleAware’s fundraising target, according to a new report.

Last week, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) published its first assessment of how much progress has been made with delivering year one of the three-year National Responsible Gambling Strategy.

The RGSB said it recognised and welcomed the “considerable activity” that took place during the first year of the strategy, and that all 12 ‘priority actions’ should continue to be pursued with “energy and commitment”.

However, the group said it had concerns with four key areas of its responsible gaming action plan, including the search to find better ways of identifying and measuring gambling-related harm, and the perceived reticence of both public and private organisations to accept their responsibility to address problem gambling.

The board also said impact – as opposed to process – evaluations of new initiatives are not taking place as frequently as it would want, and that more activity was needed in relation to operator-led problem gambling initiatives.

According to the board, the industry as a whole does not yet meet GambleAware’s fundraising target of 0.1 per cent of gross gambling yield.

The RGSB was set up in late 2008 to advise the Gambling Commission and on research, education and treatment programmes needed to support a national responsible gambling strategy and associated funding requirements.

Discussing the group’s latest strategy update, RGSB chair Christopher Kelly said: “We believe the objectives of the strategy, and the priority actions designed to achieve them, remain as relevant today as they were when they were agreed.

“The overall impact is difficult to assess after only one year. There has been a good deal of activity and a general sense of moving forward. There have also been some disappointments.”

Kelly added: “We need to be realistic about what can be achieved over a relatively short period. But there is still much to do if the strategy is to make visible progress towards its objectives. We need to increase the pace of delivery over the next 12 months.”

Totally Gaming says: The most recent estimate suggests that the number of problem gamblers in England, Scotland and Wales is around 300,000. With gambling participation on the rise, the latest RGSB report is a call to action for those in the industry to double down on their responsible gaming efforts.

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