British gambling-related harm charity GambleAware has seen donations from gambling businesses was up 80.9% to £19.0m in the year ended 31 March, after major increases in donations from Flutter and Entain.
These two operators, alongside fellow market leaders Bet365 and William Hill, pledged to donate a total of £100m to improving treatment services for problem gamblers by the end of 2023.
In its first full year since acquiring the Stars Group to become the largest operator in Great Britain, Flutter Entertainment rocketed into first place in terms of money donated, with £9.3m, up more than 800% from 2019-20.
While Flutter overtook previous leader Entain, the Ladbrokes Coral operator still drastically increased its own donations, by 200% to £4.3m.
William Hill donated £1.0m, roughly level with 2019-20 Bet365 donated £763,000, down 11.8% year-on-year. In total, these four leading operators donated £15.4m.
The £15.4m in donations from these operators vastly exceeds the total predicted by then-chief executive Mark Etches in January in a letter to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gambling-related Harms.
GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond said the leading operators’ commitment to increase funding had been a major benefit to the charity.
“This growth in donations is the largest year-on-year growth we’ve seen, driven largely as a result of the commitment by the ‘Big Four’, Osmond said. “This will enable us to continue and expand our work to ensure evidence-informed services are developed according to need within a robust and accountable system.
The largest donation from a software supplier was £50,000 from Playtech.
GambleAware received donations from almost 700 different businesses in total, each donating at least £250, which is GambleAware’s minimum donation.
The charity received a further £8.8m from regulatory settlements, made up of a £3m settlement from WIlliam Hill after its Mr Green brand was found to have breached rules over preventing harm and money laundering, plus a £5.8m settlement paid by Betway for VIP failings.
Osmond added that GambleAware will soon lay out plans of how it hoped to spend this money.
“We will shortly be releasing our commissioning strategy which will detail how we plan to use this increased funding to help keep people safe from gambling harms,” she said.
“It is estimated that two million adults in Great Britain are experiencing some level of gambling harm, and research published this year indicated that more than one in three people with a gambling disorder have not accessed any support or treatment.
“With these donations, we will continue to fund and improve the National Gambling Treatment Service to provide support for those who need it, while working in partnership with many other organisations to increase awareness of support available.”
(Photo: The Blue Diamond Gallery)