A Statutory Levy
The British gambling scene has found itself under an intense microscope in recent years. Heightened gambling figures during the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with a generational review of the Gambling Act and the publication of the UK Gambling White Paper, have seen the industry put under a lot of scrutiny. One topic that has not gone away during this time is a proposed levy on gambling operators in the country.
This topic has appeared once again, with the British Government proposing a new 1% levy that will be applied to all online gambling companies to help treat gambling addiction and aid research into the matter.
Under current laws, there is no statutory levy in place. Instead, companies pay a voluntary levy, which can be as little as £1. This has been met with criticism by many from outside the industry, with the new statutory levy being inevitable in the eyes of many.
Support from the BGC
Plans for the levy were initially proposed in the publication of the White Paper in April, alongside other changes such as stricter stake limits and some changes to advertising. The government has now announced its intention to push forward with these plans, with the new Gambling Minister, Stuart Andrew, supporting the idea.
The 1% levy would see funds donated to the NHS to provide additional support for those seeking help for gambling harm and addiction.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has spoken out in support of the new proposal. A statement was released from the organisation confirming their stance. It confirmed that the BGC proposed the levy to the government ahead of the White Paper launch and that it believes all operators, including the National Lottery, should be able to research and development in the area.
More Changes Ahead
2023 has been a big year of change in the gambling industry, and the introduction of this levy is just another step on the road to reform. The BGC has also introduced several methods already this year that are focused on protecting young people from gambling harm.
One such measure will kick in on December 1st this year, with 25 becoming the minimum age of exposure for gambling ads across all digital platforms, including social media.