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Government announces consultation for Gambling Industry Statutory Levy

The Government launches its consultation on the introduction of a statutory levy for gambling operators

The Government has launched its consultation on the introduction of a statutory levy for gambling operators, as proposed in the gambling white paper published in April this year.

The consultation considers the structure, distribution and governance of the levy. The main proposals are:

Structure: The Government suggests that online gambling operators should pay a higher rate than their land-based counterparts. As set out in the white paper, this approach accounts for evidence of the varying levels of harm associated with different sectors and their respective costs, while raising sufficient funding for key projects and services. The proposed levy rates as a % of Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) are:

• 1% from all online operators (excluding society lotteries with remote licences)• 1% from remote software licences• 1% from remote machine technical licences• 1% from remote pool betting licences• 0.4% from land-based casino/betting• 0.4% from non-remote software licences• 0.4% from non-remote machine technical licences• 0.4% from non-remote pool betting licences• 0.1% from land-based arcades and bingo• 0.1% from society lotteries (including External Lottery Managers and local authority lotteries licensed by the Gambling Commission)

In good news for small operators, it is proposed that those with GGY or gross profits below £500,000 will not be expected to pay the levy.

The Government’s goal is to set rates that are equitable while generating around £90 million to £100 million per year to fulfil the Government’s objectives to provide effective and sustainable funding for research, education and treatment.

Distribution: The Government proposes around 10-20% of the levy funding would be allocated to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), facilitating the establishment of a multidisciplinary Gambling Research Programme. 15-30% of the funds would be devoted to prevention and education initiatives aimed at raising awareness of gambling-related harms across Great Britain. A substantial 40-60% of the levy proceeds would be directed toward the NHS to enhance the commissioning of treatment services for gambling addiction across the entire treatment pathway.

Governance: To ensure the proper oversight of the levy system, the Government suggests establishing a Statutory Levy Board and a separate Advisory Group. These bodies will serve as a platform for government oversight in the levy system and enable sector experts from public health, academia and charitable organisations to provide insights on funding priorities. It is proposed that levy rates and distribution will be reviewed every five years.

The consultation will be open for only 8 weeks, closing on 14 December 2023. Stakeholders can view the details and respond here.

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