CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

For what you believe
Open menu Close menu
Man head in hands 0

NI to miss out as bookies increase funding to tackle problem gambling

19 June 2019

Today it was revealed that some of the UK’s largest gambling firms will increase the amount they give to tackle problem gambling, but Northern Ireland is highly likely to miss out.

That’s despite there being four times as many problem gamblers in Northern Ireland than in England.

William Hill, Coral Ladbroke, Betfair Paddy Power, Skybet and Bet 365 have all offered to increase the voluntary levy on their gambling profits.

Bookmakers have a voluntary arrangement to give 0.1% of their profits to help fund research and treatment for problem gambling.

This deal with the Gambling Commission recommends giving the donations to GambleAware, a charity dedicated to helping problem gamblers.

But in a letter sent earlier this year to Belfast City Councillor John Kyle, GambleAware confirmed that it does not operate in Northern Ireland, meaning that unless alternative arrangements are made, unlike Great Britain, NI will miss out on extra money to fund problem gambling research and treatment.

CARE in Northern Ireland Policy Officer, Mark Baillie said:

“It’s no bad thing that bookies are prepared to give more money to help tackle problem gambling but sadly, it looks like Northern Ireland won’t see a penny of that.

“We have four times as many problem gamblers here than in England and so it seems obvious it should be a priority.

“There’s little doubt we need the extra money because getting access to treatment for problem gambling in NI is linked to what financial resources you have.

“What we need is for the bookies to commit to making sure some of the money they’re offering does go towards Northern Ireland.

“In our view, reform of our gambling legislation is badly needed because the current laws are not fit for purpose.

“Any such legislation should include a mandatory levy on gambling profits made in Northern Ireland to ensure those who suffer from gambling addiction can be effectively supported.

"While some bookmakers in NI may contribute financially to supporting some suffering from gambling addiction, there is no transparency as to how much money is involved and there is no consistency in support right across NI.”


Notes to editors:

For interview requests or more information please contact James Mildred: // 07717516814

CARE is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies.

For more on the story, see here:

In this piece, CARE in NI’s Mark Baillie explains why gambling laws in NI need to be updated:

In May 2017, the Department for Communities published a survey which found a problem gambling prevalence rate of 2.3% in NI, four times higher than in England:



While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

Find out more about the cause

Sign up for Impact Direct, and email publications

By signing up stay in touch you agree to receive emails from CARE. You can change your mailing preferences at any time either by getting in touch with CARE, or through the links on any of our emails.

Recent news

Sharing gospel grace and truth 28

How can we speak God's truth into an increasingly hostile culture?

During last year's European Leaders Forum (ELF), CARE's Chief Executive, Nola Leach, gave a talk on free speech, Christian engagement and asks the question whether Christians still have a right to speak in the public square.

Keep reading
Human Trafficking 28p229 Natalya w

More than 8,000 modern slavery victims in Scotland

More than 8,000 people living in Scotland are victims of modern slavery which is 10 times higher than was first thought.

Keep reading
Modernslavery 0

Leading UK think tank backs Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

One of the UK’s most influential think tanks has today called on the UK Government to support Lord McColl’s Victim Support Bill which would guarantee rescued victims of modern slavery in England and Wales at least 12-month support.

Keep reading