The continued growth of online casino gaming will see an increasing number of new gamers take to the internet in pursuit of entertainment over the next few years. Greater transparency in the sector is seeing operators in the industry take the issue of problem gambling more seriously than ever before.
GambleAware announced that it has secured a landmark agreement with land-based casino establishments in the UK to support the charity – something expected to benefit gamblers both on and offline. Overall, the deal clearly aligns with the UK's recent push to decrease the risks for problem gambling.
GambleAware's position as an independent charity that aims to minimise gambling-related harm in the UK makes it a key figure with vital links between gaming operators in both the online and offline sectors. Links some experts see as crucial to ensuring a safe and fair future of gaming in the United Kingdom.
Having campaigned strongly for a more active commitment from operators to fund schemes related to reducing problem gambling and helping those suffering from minor and major addiction, the charity recently announced a ground-breaking agreement with the UK's land-based casino firms to secure guaranteed funding.
Under the terms of the deal, land casinos will donate 0.1% of their annual Gross Gaming Yield (GGY) to GambleAware, providing it with crucial support. Any donations to other charities will be listed separately, as an addition to the 0.1% that goes to GambleAware. Many casino companies already donate to numerous charities through the National Casino Forum (NCF).
But the emphasis on the new deal with GambleAware will shine a light on the donations made by casino brands, which is hoped to increase contributions to higher levels. The landmark mechanics of the agreement were revealed by the NCF's Chief Executive, Tracy Damestani:
"This is a historic commitment by casino operators. They are guaranteeing that the casino sector will donate 0.1% of Gross Gambling Yield to GambleAware, in addition to making other charitable donations. They are underpinning this pledge by introducing a transparent new payment system."
Damestani highlighted that securing a legitimate deal displays a genuine commitment to problem gambling:
"The casino sector has always supported fundraising for research, education and treatment, and casino operators are determined to go beyond both the letter and the spirt of the Act in their support for responsible and safer gambling. They want to ensure that research, education, prevention and treatment programmes are fully funded across the gambling industry."
GambleAware's Chief Executive, Marc Etches, noted the important responsibility that betting companies have in supporting problem gambling and ensuring it's an issue that becomes less prominent in the next decade, despite the expected growth of gambling on the internet over the next decade:
"It is imperative that all businesses deriving a profit from commercial gambling in Britain support GambleAware in the delivery of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy."
Etches praised the deal with NCF, which sets a new standard in the industry when it comes to charitable donations:
"This initiative by NCF’s members will ensure transparency in relation to the casino sector’s funding of research, education and treatment, and sets an important benchmark for others."
GambleAware's new agreement is certainly good news in the fight to increase the awareness of problem gambling, reduce its impact and help to treat those afflicted by the issue. Some industry analysts suggest there is still a significant way to go before everything is being done to truly combat gambling problems.
Fortunately, most believe this deal can be seen as a step in the right direction for the entire industry. The UK casino industry can take credit in showing an increased commitment to dealing with the issue via this latest agreement with GambleAware. For more on Problem Gambling, visit our guide to getting help!