UK GAMBLING COMPANIES FAIL TO CONTRIBUTE TO RESPONSIBLE GAMING FUNDING
UK GAMBLING COMPANIES FAIL TO CONTRIBUTE TO RESPONSIBLE GAMING FUNDING Recalcitrant online companies are courting government compulsory levies Despite warnings last year and this that a lack of voluntary contribution could lead to compulsory government levies (see previous InfoPowa reports) many British gambling companies continue to hold back on contributing to funds designed to help problem gamblers. The UK media has picked up the story, claiming that as many as two-thirds of all UK gambling companies have so far failed to contribute. Of the 3 200 firms analysed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, only 1 000 have made donations, the reports reveal. Smaller operators are particularly guilty, the organisation has revealed to the BBC. While RITG has managed to reach its 2008 target of raising GBP 3.6 million through voluntary donations, these latest revelations are likely to prompt further calls for the government to introduce a compulsory levy. According to Don Foster, culture spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, the amount contributed amounts to just GBP 14 per problem gambler, far less than the GBP 44 raised in New Zealand and GBP 40 in Canada. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's the online gambling operators on the whole who are not contributing. "We've got to say once and for all, 'Here is the amount we want – GBP 7 million plus, in a couple of years'. "Let's use that as the threat to the industry. Cough up double what's being paid now or else we have a compulsory levy to raise that amount of money." The comments come as the Gambling Commission undertakes a review into the effectiveness of the current levels of voluntary contributions, though the RITG chairman has recently expressed his confidence that the body will be able to reach its target of GBP 7 million by 2010.