Tory peer calls for mandatory industry levy: but it’s nothing new!

Tory peer calls for mandatory industry levy: but it’s nothing new!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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Lord Chadlington thinks the current 0.1% voluntary levy is insufficient

Writing in a recent publication of Parliament’s The House, Tory peer Lord Chadlington called for the introduction of a statutory levy on the UK gambling industry to fund treatment of problem gamblers.

He wrote: “We need a nationwide programme backed by the DCMS and the DHSC to help those already addicted, those at risk of gambling-related harm, and supporting affected families.”

Chadlington believes it should be a case of polluter pays, adding: “Who should fund this four-point programme? Currently there is a 0.1% voluntary gambling industry levy which this year will generate less than £10m.

“This levy must be made mandatory and increased to 1%, generating some £130m every year to be directed to a new independent commission which would execute and monitor the above strategy.”

According to the peer, the funding would also be used to pay for independent and objective research into gambling which, he said, was urgently needed, particularly around the suicide risks and impact on children. “Good and effective law is based on robust information,” he noted.

He also voiced support for the DCMS’s plans to educate young people about gambling-related harm, adding:  “...but when the government realises something is addictive and harmful to the young – like fixed-odds betting terminals – then we must implement that brave decision immediately and not wait until 2020! We must lead by example.”

Chadlington concluded: “To ensure that our UK gambling legislation is fit for purpose, we need this independent review and scrutiny of digitised multimedia marketing if we are to avoid a gambling epidemic in the UK and if we are not going to look back in ten years’ time and wonder why we sat on our hands. Italy has recognised the severity of the problem and acted decisively. Why can’t we?”

Totally Gaming says: Calls for a mandatory levy are nothing new since the onset of the Gambling Act 2005 which heralded a new age of academic fervour around the subject of problem gambling. Such research can be divisive for many reasons, not least of which is the question of value for money. There’s nothing quite like a government/industry funded study when it comes to keeping academics and researchers gainfully employed. But when they’re published – and often at significant cost – they’re questionably worth less than the paper they’re printed on. Such is the pace of change in the gambling sector.

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