GambleAware donations up to £49.5m in 2023-24

By Robert Fletcher

UK-facing GambleAware collected £49.5m (€58.1m/$63.0m) in total voluntary charitable donations in 2023-24, up 13.8% on the previous financial year, with Flutter Entertainment again the top donor.

The 2023-24 figure exceeded the previous year by £3.1m. GambleAware uses the funding to support work including public health campaigns, education and training, harm prevention tools, treatment and research.

Of all funding committed, some 94.0% came from the four largest gambling operators in the UK: Flutter, Entain, Bet365 and William Hill. The quartet pledged to gradually increase their donations to 1% of gross gambling yield over four years, topping 1.0% in 2023-24. This was the final year of the pledge.

On this point, GambleAware warned of “uncertainty” over funding for the 2024-25 financial year. This is due to the transition to a statutory levy, as set out in last year’s white paper.

As such, GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond is calling for minimal disruption during this process to ensure funding continues to flow into the organisation. 

“While we await the implementation of the new statutory levy, donations from the voluntary funding system are key to ensure GambleAware can continue to deliver the essential gambling harm prevention and treatment programmes we commission,” Osmond said.

“For many years we have been calling for the introduction of a statutory levy on the gambling industry and we are pleased the government has committed to delivering this as part of the gambling white paper. 

“However, during the transition period it is vital that steps continue to be taken to ensure there is no disruption to existing services and provisions in the wider system as they adapt to the new levy funding model.”

Flutter leads the way with GambleAware donations

As was the case in 2022-23, Flutter pledged the most money to GambleAware. In total, the group donated £18.0m on behalf of its brands, which include Paddy Power and Sky Bet.

Also in the big four donators is Entain, which pledged £16.8m to the organisation. Hillside, the operating company of Bet365, made three separate donations of £1.3m, £1.4m and £3.1m, with its total pledge being £5.8m.

William Hill rounded off the leading quartet with a donation of £6.0m to GambleAware.

Other notable pledges in 2023-24 include £451,800 from Camelot UK Lotteries, now under the ownership of Allwyn. Petre (Gibraltar), trading as Betfred, donated £215,595, while a further £50,000 came from Betfred owners the Done brothers.

Les Ambassadeurs pledged £208,920 from its club business and £49,254 from its online arm. Meanwhile, Virgin Bet donated £123,967, while gambling centre operator Talarius put forward £103,619. 

Other larger pledges include £154,871 from BV Gaming/BetVictor, £106,158 off LiveScore Betting and Gaming and £110,263 Luxury Leisure.

On top of this, the Gambling Commission directed £33.5m from regulatory settlements reached in the past year. Like the voluntary donations, these funds go straight into the GambleAware organisation.  

In addition, GambleAware reported a further £241,613 in funds from unclaimed winnings and dormant accounts during 2023-24. This came from brands such as 888, BetVictor and Betfred.

GambleAware hits back at criticism

The rise in funds comes after GambleAware CEO Osmond last month stood up to defend the charity’s work. This followed a complaint by the Good Law Project.

In March, the Good Law Project submitted a complaint to the Charity Commission over how GambleAware spreads information. The Good Law Project accuses GambleAware trustees of not meeting the charity’s objectives to offer adequate gambling harm education.

In a fresh statement on the case, Osmond defended GambleAware, saying she is confident the complaint will not be upheld. It is understood the Commission’s assessment of whether it needs to intervene remains ongoing.

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