NHS Calls For Premier League Betting Sponsors To Help Fund The Health Of Gambling Addicts

The National Health Service (NHS) has warned that the Premier League must dedicate more efforts towards helping fund the bill caused by problem gambling. NHS England criticized betting firms for ignoring their duty of helping the more than 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK.


Foreign-owned betting firms that sponsor the Premier League have failed to contribute to a £10 million fund which is meant to pay for addict’s treatment.


Speaking during an annual NHS Expo in Manchester, Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England pointed out that betting has become one of the rising risk factors for mental health problems in the UK. He lamented that nine out of twenty Premier League teams and seventeen out of the twenty-four teams in the Championship League are being sponsored by betting firms.


A spokesperson for Gamble Aware argued that the relationship between gambling and sports has reached an alarming rate. He felt that having betting firms sponsor the Premier League and Championship teams, there is a high risk of more people becoming problem gamblers as the advertising that comes with it are normalizing betting for the society including children.


Data from the UK Gambling Commission indicate that there are over 430,000 problem gamblers who include more than 25,000 children below the age of sixteen. Stevens said that the trend was worrying. Stevens told his audience that foreign betting companies that have shirt sponsorship deals were consistently “failing to play their part” in funding gambling addiction services through the £10 million set by UKGC.


The NHS recently opened a clinic in London specializing in the treatment of betting addicts. Stevens emphasized the need for industry players to address problem gambling as a serious issue. “There is an increasing link between problem gambling and stress, depression and other mental health problems,” he said. He reiterated that according to doctors, two-thirds of betting addicts get worse if they are not helped yet NHS offers specialist treatment.


Considering the nature of the problem, Stevens argued that taxpayers and NHS should not always be left “to pick up the pieces” since the health of the country is a responsibility of everyone.

Data from UKGC show reluctance and failure to pay the donations. According to a register of industry donations that was published in July, none of the eight foreign companies sponsoring UK football team had pledged any money to the fund. In the 2017/18 financial year, a number of the foreign betting giants donated £11,000, but failed did not contribute in time.


From the data, only Bet365 which appears to be complying as it had already paid £434,000 and had gone ahead to pledge £868,000 for this season.


Stevens said he will now be writing to clubs that have been sponsored by betting firms to persuade them to urge their sponsors to contribute to the fund. “The NHS will now work with the premiership on how we persuade these foreign gambling companies to do the right thing.”

However, though mental health conditions emanating from problem gambling affects more than 430,000 people and free treatment is readily available from firms such as Be Gamble Aware, only an estimated two percent who need the help come out to seek it.


Remote Gambling Association, a firm representing online betting firms, through a statement, said, “The association agrees that more funding is needed if the gambling industry as a whole is to fulfill its responsibilities to everyone in the country who gambles, and especially those who are affected by problem gambling.”


Tom Watson, the shadow secretary for culture and sports said, “Labour would ban sponsorship of Premier League teams by gambling companies and introduce a compulsory contribution to make the industry pay for the treatment of gambling addiction.”


Wagering Sports Betting Causes Optimism to Giant Gambling Firm

Paddy power Betfair has scaled its revenue up to a tune of 7 percent reaching to 867 million pounds in a bare six months ending at June 30th. According to interim results, the gambling giant registered underlying earnings of 217 million pounds in constant currency terms scaling up by 1 percent.


Before tax, profits were up by 4 percent reaching 106 million pounds in the half year period. The CEO affirmed that the firm had made significant milestones against its strategic priorities. He further added that trading through the second quarter was good and the firm boasted of busy and successful months. He, however, confirmed that the double-digit growth was as a result of contributions from all brands and the various firm’s operating divisions.


Individually, different operating divisions showed a correlation in individual revenue increase with Australia registering a 19 percent increase and the United States 20 percent, all during the second quarter. This was despite the headwinds experienced in both the US and Australia. However, the gambling giant disappointed investors as it missed its projected six months revenue growth. Alistair Ross, an analyst at Investec, termed the performance as a ‘’solid miss’’.


Talking to the FTSE, the firm’s CEO claimed that the full-year projection was partly influenced by changes in the tax regime changes effected in Australia as well as the 770 million dollar takeover deal with US sports company FanDuel.


Despite missing the half year 9.9 percent revenue projection by a big lag, the firm managed a 13 percent increase in revenue in the second quarter. According to Ed Monk, a director at Fidelity Personal Investing, Paddy Power Betfair is bound to gain from the already opening betting markets in the United States. He further affirmed that through its expansion of FanDuel site, pricing of shares rose and investors now expect to realize a rise in operational performance and subsequent growth in the market share onwards.


Experts in the firm have further given an expectation that the earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization should lie between 460 million pounds and 480 million pounds prior to the impact caused of US betting. This is as a result of a recent reflection in the trading stance with an overwhelming anticipated performance in gaming. This is after an offset by prolonged weakness in horse racing revenues, Australian taxes impact, and an increase in product fee as well as the addition of the FanDuel fantasy sports in the firm’s operation.


Looking at the agreement between Paddy Power Betfair and FanDuel in July, the gambling giant is expected to offer more daily fantasy games-which will open the market enormously. The firm’s CEO affirmed. He continued to assert that FanDuel has created a large online business portfolio after entering an agreement with Boyd Gaming. The firm is expected to cover an extensive national stretch including New Jersey. This was possible after a Supreme Court ruling allowing individual states to come up with their own independent betting laws. Additionally, the CEO has confirmed that the firm is now better-positioned in-terms of visibility and regulatory of fiscal changes stretching across the UK, US, and Australia. In this respect, the company is expected to build a sustainable business position that will guarantee shareholders good returns over a long time.


According to the company, the key ways of surviving the wagering market in the US is by ensuring brand recognition from the widely stretched customer base, ensuring market access and investing substantially in the operating capabilities of the firm. It is important to note that significant optimism has been realized by the company owing to the largely wagering sports markets in the US.


England: Top Two Divisions Professional Football Clubs Sponsored by Betting Firms Rise

The upcoming football season will see almost 60% of soccer teams in England’s top two divisions engage in sport gambling-related advertising. In a report that was recently released, 17 out of 24 teams in the Champions League and 9 of the 20 teams in the Premier League will be sponsored by gambling companies.


Following the report, problem gambling experts have termed the relationship between betting and sports as disturbing and worrying. The United Kingdom has recognized the detrimental effects of problem gambling and gone ahead to enact measures that will deter gambling-related advertising. However, authorities have remained silent sports sponsorship and the effects it can have on betting.


According to a report that was recently published by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, 430,000 people are classified as problem gamblers while another two million are at risk of becoming problem gamblers. Considering that the country has 65 million people, problem gambling is one of the country’s major challenges as it has affected a large proportion of the people.


The Gambling Commission also found out that 370,000 children of between ages 11 and 16 gamble at least once in a week. 25,000 of these children are problem gamblers.


As the sponsorship of professional football by betting firms increases, Sky Bet which is the gambling entity of Sky Betting & Gaming has continued to sponsor three of the English Football League (EFL) divisions. In addition, it has a huge presence in the Championship League. Its domination in sponsorship of England’s professional football and the effects it is having on football fans has remained a concern to the gambling addiction charities in the UK.


Britain’s online gambling industry is one of the most liberal and largest in the world. Last year, it generated a record £14 billion in revenue. Sponsoring professional football is one of the gambling firms’ strategies for increasing revenue.


Gambling experts have raised over the issue indicating that the relationship between gambling and professional sports was getting out of control. While commenting on the situation, Gambling Watch UK’s representative Professor Jim Orford said that the nation was in a worrying state. He indicated that there was evidence that gambling was becoming “normalized” in the country.


According to him, young people are the most affected and are increasingly developing a perception that “betting is part and parcel of following and supporting one’s favorite sports or team.”


Professor Orford expressed concern that free-to-play social media gambling is becoming popular among young people as players are encouraged to purchase virtual goods as part of their betting experience. Football has remained the most popular spectator sport in the UK over the years. As a result, more families are now attending matches every week or watching them from their homes. The increasing entry of betting firms in the professional football industry has led more gambling advertisements in each game.


Marc Etches, CEO at GambleAware commented that the society is having a generation of fans that believe for them to enjoy a football game they must place a bed. “Watching football and having a bet is becoming normalized but we’re not talking about it,” he said.


The EFL opined that sponsorship by gambling firms made a significant contribution to realizing financial stability in professional football. It, however, added that it is working with betting firms to ensure a “socially responsible” relationship between professional football and gambling is created.

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Casino Industry Secretly made a Huge Donation to Institute of Economic Affairs

The casino industry made a huge £8,000 donation to the Institute of Economic Affairs. This was to allegedly sway the findings of the report which subsequently called for the current ban on the establishments of extra casinos be lifted.


IEAIt is alleged that the senior members of the National Casino Industry Forum met the authors shortly before they released the final draft of the report. They also received feedback and briefs of the report before they were finally released to the public.


In its final form, the report did not include any references to the owners of casinos who eventually made the said donation. This is notwithstanding the fact that the National Casino Industry Forum did indeed confirm having made the stated donation.


This report called for the scrapping of the limits that currently exist on the establishment of newer casinos. In particular, the report called for allowing middle-sized towns and cities be allowed to accept the establishments of newer casinos.


In reactions to these allegations, the Institute of Economic Affairs argued that several people and institutions outside the body had been privy to these reports. It also denied any likelihoods of such previous access influencing or swaying the final outcomes of the report.


These revelations came to the fore courtesy of the initiative of the Guardian newspaper. This newspaper had revealed how the said Institute had facilitated access to senior government officials. In particular, the said body had organized an an-hour long meeting between US investors and Steve Baker, who at that time was the Brexit minister.


Many members of the British public have expressed anger and dissatisfaction with these revelations. Many have persistently asked whether the institution and its outcomes have been compromised. They have also cast doubts over the credibility of the results and their findings.

In light of these, they have called for an in-depth investigation into the activities of the Institute of Economic Affairs. They have particularly narrowed down to the latest findings with the aim of ascertaining whether they are indeed credible or not.


Several persons and institutions have stepped in to solve the menace. The Charity Commission and Ms. Alice White have gladly taken up the challenges. The commission aims at determining whether there was a breach of the existing charity laws. Ms. Alice White, on the other hand, wants to know whether the Institute of Economic Affairs overstepped its boundaries as it compiled its report.

The director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Mark Littlewood, has also confided to an undercover investigator that its clients have the abilities to fund and shape substantial contents considerably. This investigation was spearheaded by the Unearthed which is a part of the Greenpeace.


Labour Party also alleged that the Institute of Economic Affairs had carried out extensive lobbying as well as controversial political campaign activities to pursue specific policy goals. These it says, went well beyond the purview of its objectives as an ‘educational charity.’


Despite the overwhelming evidence, the Institute of Economic Affairs denied any involvements in foul play. Its director categorically stated that donors had no leeway influence the final outcomes and conclusions of the research findings. He went on to state that his institute has no apologies to make for educating politicians and other persons in the highest levels of government.


UK Wants to Raise Online Gambling Tax in 2019, Allowing for Delay in FOBT Cuts

The U.K. government is planning upsurge the consumption tax for online gaming early next year. This is as a response to critics who opted that the United Kingdom needs to impose more tax on the gaming companies.


The main aim of increasing the tax is to be able to pay for the treatment of gamblers issues. It will also satisfy the ones who believe that gaming companies don’t pay enough taxes. Formerly, the POC tax rate for online gaming is 15%. The increment is somehow seen as a way to placate the critics who are not happy that maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals will not be there in 2019


The very first time when the Point-of-consumption taxes were introduced in the United Kingdom was in 2014. This is when the British government came up with the idea of taxing British citizens who use online casinos and are not in their areas but still receive some revenue from the games. This includes all the casino websites as well as sportsbook websites even if their headquarters is suited elsewhere.


Some British firms choose to do business somewhere off-island so as to keep their operating costs low and also pay low taxes. After the rise of the government need to raise the POC tax, some online gaming firms have complained that increase in tax will cause them to raise prices for their items as well as comp limits which in return lowers their profit.


For quite some time, the British government has been criticized for timing the increase of POC. However, according to the critics, United Kingdom opted to raise the POC taxes since the treasury bonds were worried, a loss of revenue would affect the entire budget. More so, the research shows that lowering the betting limits on FOBT machines would lower the entire revenue.


Increasing the FOBT rate to a $5 supreme bet from $132 maximum bet signifies a vast funding gap. Moreover, the treasury concern on the drop-in revenue, but gaming companies are arguing that they will be hit twice. One is by reducing the revenue from the FOBT machines and the second is from increasing the POC tax. Right now, there are timeline limits are either the POC tax increment or FOBT decrease.


The Treasury said that it will focus on implementing the POC tax increase come next year. And by April 2020, it wants to decrease FOBT. Nonetheless, according to the Economic researcher’s part of the motive for the extended rollout is that the government wants to lower the gambling industry impact. In return, this will create a chilling effect on the gaming industry as well as redundancy rate and the British budget.


Gambling firms have already cleared that an increase in taxes and a reduction in revenue have a great potential to disrupt their businesses. According to the British government, their plan is going to push through and the gaming establishments are likely to pass the operation cost. This will include taxes will run down to their customers.


The tax may be passed down in the form of consumer tax or cash outs. Even though the decrease of in the maximum bets on FOBT has been a great debate topic in the UK the upcoming change may on the online gambling taxation may be great issues for the players.


Brexit on Gibraltar Gambling Industry is Imminent

The United Kingdom is almost exiting the European Union. This impending departure from the regional and economic bloc is intended to inflict adverse consequences on the gambling industry in Gibraltar. This is because Gibraltar is under the domain of the United Kingdom.


brexitIn case Brexit goes through successfully, then firms that are located in the UK but which would wish to gain access to the EU market will have to make individual applications to this effect. This will further complicate issues for the various gambling operators. They will also forfeit the privileges that come along with the Mini One-Stop-Shop (MOSS Scheme). They will not be able to supply services and goods to the European Union except they register for it.


The reasons that underlie these likely adverse negative consequences are many. For one, the firms that are located in the United Kingdom shall no longer have access to the huge European Union market. This, of course, shall translate to reduced revenue inflows.


In response to these dangers, Gibraltar has decided to put in place certain intervention mechanisms. The city-state has decided to lower its tax revenues from gambling yet at the same time raise its license fees on gambling companies.


Many firms have also decided to take matters into their own hands. They have for instance decided to offload some of their operations to localities that are still within the jurisdiction of the European Union. The most notable examples of these are the Bet365 and 888 Holdings.


The issue is yet to be resolved conclusively though. This is because the Brexit deal has yet to be finalized. Moreover, various stakeholders within the gambling industry are still pushing for certain concessions to be made and guarantees approved.


As stated, Gibraltar has lowered its tax rate from gambling revenue. Before the Brexit talks commenced, the nation-state levied 1% tax rate on the revenue from gambling. It has reduced this rate drastically to a paltry 0.15%. This has given many firms that operate in the area some incentive to keep staying on the island despite the impending exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.


On the same note, the nation has increased the license fees on new gambling firms. For instance, the business-to-business corporate entities are now supposed to part with $112,000 (£85,000) while their business-to-consumers are required to pay $132,000 (£100,000) for the license.


Given that license fees are a one-time expense, this increase is very unlikely to inflict a significant rise in the cost of doing business. On the contrary, it shall enable the state to make up for the anticipated loss of tax revenue at least in the short run.


In response to these latest developments, Bet365 has already indicated the intention of relocating to Malta. The Minister for Financial Services of Gibraltar, Mr. Albert Isola, has however downplayed this move. He maintains that Gibraltar still has the capacity to weather the storm and secure its financial standing even if the UK withdraws from the EU.


Some stakeholders have even contemplated looking up to the World Trade Organization for a guidance on the way forward. They draw their inspiration from the Case that pitied Antigua on the one hand and the United States on the other hand. The World Trade Organization did step in and offer an amicable solution.


This stand has mainly been inspired by the fact that service industries, of which gambling is part, has largely been given a wide berth during the ongoing Brexit negotiations. They also decry the complex nature in which the payments from gambling will have to confront. It will be interesting to see just how the issue will ultimately be resolved.