Only Three Organisations Receive UKGC Approval For Problem Gambling Funding
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has published a list of organisations that have been approved by them to receive funding from betting companies as they attempt to tackle problem gambling. Companies have to make financial contributions that are felt to acknowledge their social responsibility in order to meet the conditions of their UKGC gambling licence.
The surprising thing about the list published by the Gambling Commission is how short it is, with just three organisations gaining their approval. On the list are the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust, GamCare and GambleAware are currently permitted to receive the financial contributions at the time of writing. It is likely that other organisations will want to be added to the list in due time, however.
Requirements To Meet Licensing Demands
There are specific requirements in place for gambling operators that they need to ensure that they meet if they’re hoping to be given a gambling licence by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Obviously these requirements are about more than just what they contribute financially to help problem gamblers, but that is a big part of what they have to do. Indeed, a financial contribution to the worlds of prevention, treatment and research is one of the key factors.
They must also ensure that any donations that they make go to one of the three organisations on the list published by the UKGC. It’s important that the gambling company doesn’t have any connection to the organisation that receives its money.
In order to meet the requirements laid out by the Gambling Commission, companies need to report their information accurately every year or every quarter, letting the UKGC know how much as been contributed and to which company.
LCCP RET Explained
When looking at information about the contributory requirements laid out by the Gambling Commission the two acronyms that you’ll see most often are LCCP and RET. The former stands for Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice and sets out the various conditions that need to be met in order for a company to receive and maintain and operating licence. It is not a static thing, being altered and changed regularly in order to ensure that any emerging evidence is taken into account.
RET, meanwhile, stands for Research, Eduction and Treatment. In 2018 the UKGC acknowledged that the previous method of dealing with this, which required companies to make a voluntary donation, fell short of their initial objective. They then launched a 12-week consultation in order to find out how to best alter their approach, including the protection of children and vulnerable people from gambling related harm. That is where the decision was taken to create a list of approved organisations.
What About Other Organisations?
That the UKGC’s list only has three organisations on it has been met with consternation from some quarters. The Gordon Moody Association, for example, has been running for a long time and is the only organisation at present that offers residential treatment for those suffering from gambling problems.
Those responsible for the Association are perplexed about why they haven’t been included on the Gambling Commission’s list, just as the team behind Epic Risk Management, which educates sports people about problem gambling, are also unsure why they’ve been left off it.
The good news for those organisations is that the UKGC hasn’t said that gambling companies are not allowed to donate to them. The issue is that any donations made to those and other organisations won’t count towards the LCCP conditions. That means that the majority of betting businesses are unlikely to donate to them if they know that the funds provided won’t actually be rewarded by the Gambling Commission in terms of their licensing requirements. It will be a cause of concern for those organisations that the UKGC don’t see them as ‘worthy’ of receiving funding.
If an organisation would like to be placed on the list of entities that are entitled to receive funding as part of a gambling companies RET contribution then they need to provide information to the Gambling Commission. The information must allow the UKGC to assess their suitability, including the necessity to have independent regulation and oversight. This is obviously something that isn’t necessarily easy to achieve, which is presumably the UKGC’s excuse for having such a small number of organisations on the list upon its official release.
GambleAware The Major Beneficiaries
The list released by the Gambling Commission seems to suggest that GambleAware is the organisation that will benefit the most from contributions from companies associated with the gambling industry. This is because they should be donated to no matter which other organisations companies opt to work with as they are the only organisation that has been approved for research into gambling problems. Because the LCCP conditions suggest that funding needs to be provided for research, prevention and treatment that is a good thing for GambleAware.
Whether that will remain the case over time is something that we have to wait to discover. As more organisations are added to the Gambling Commission’s approved list, it’s likely that others will also be able to do research with the approval of the UKGC. It’s certainly a cause of slight concern for the likes of the Gordon Moody Association and Epic Risk Management that they’re not on the list at all whilst GambleAware gets funding essentially guaranteed to them. Things might change for ERM once they’ve submitted information for scrutiny.
Whilst gambling companies hoping to gain and then keep a licence from the Gambling Commission have to meet a host of requirements, such as anti-laundering responsibilities and meeting certain technical standards, the things that the UKGC take the most seriously are the ability to ensure that complaints are handled by an Alternative Dispute Resolution and the RET responsibilities. Now that other organisations know the standard they need to meet, there are likely to be changes in the market moving forward so that the funding can be spread about more.