Zoë Osmond: Open letter on GambleAware RET duties
GambleAware Chief Executive Zoë Osmond has responded to an SBC article on the ongoing RET Levy debate. Osmond explains the grant-making charity’s duties in support of frontline organisations delivering a nationwide system of treatment services for those at risk of gambling harm…
I write in reference to Jordan Lea’s comments made on SBC’s featured article of The RET levy debate – much-needed reform or a ‘recipe for disaster? – that donations to our charity “just sits within GambleAware account”’.
GambleAware is the leading charity in Britain working to keep people safe from gambling harms. We do this by leading public health campaigns and driving the transformation of treatment and prevention services. Every year we fund access to free, confidential treatment for nearly 12,000 people and over 41,000 calls to the National Gambling Helpline.
In 2021/2022 we spent £22.46 million on front-line support and protection for individuals at risk of gambling harm and will be spending over £40 million in the next fiscal year. This funds many organisations working to prevent gambling harms – a significant number of which are focused on reaching the most vulnerable communities nationwide.
Over half our funding goes on the National Gambling Treatment Service, which brings together the National Gambling Helpline and a network of locally-based providers across Great Britain, including Gordon Moody and GamCare and its partner network. The National Gambling Treatment Service works with partner agencies and people with lived experience to design and deliver a system which meets the needs of individuals.
The system delivers a range of treatment services including brief intervention, counselling (delivered either face-to-face or online), residential programmes and psychiatrist led care.
We have funded the Gambling Harms Research Centre at the University of Bristol which was opened last week and will be undertaking work to drive new public health approaches to reduce gambling harms for a wide range of communities. We fund a number of education and prevention programmes, including work delivered by Citizen’s Advice and the Scottish Gambling Education Hub, which have proven to be very successful in terms of driving awareness of gambling harm.
Throughout the year, we will be spending a significant amount of our budget on three major public health campaigns, including the next phase of our women’s prevention campaign. We will also be launching a major new behaviour change campaign to reduce the stigma experienced by people struggling with their gambling to reduce the barriers which can prevent people accessing the support they need.
Further funding commitments can be seen on our website. We know that more funds are needed which is why we support a mandatory levy of 1% of GGY and hope that one will be announced in the upcoming White Paper.
Zoë Osmond – Chief Executive of GambleAware