By Iqbal Johal
The Gambling Commission is to divert £9m ($10.3m) of funds generated from regulatory settlements to GambleAware.
The charity, which helps deliver the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms in the UK, will use the funds with its partners to ensure problem gambling treatment and support services can continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The funds will also be used to support such services moving to alternative delivery platforms, such as online, and boost support systems that will take precedence in this time of uncertainty.
The Gambling Commission added that its own research indicates gambling activity has dipped since the lockdown started in the UK last month; however, some players are increasing their use of online products, such as poker or virtual sports.
The money is to be taken from regulatory fines placed on operators for failing to adhere to social responsibility, customer interaction and money laundering guidelines. Since January, the Gambling Commission has collected £27m in such fines.
Gambling Commission chairman, William Moyes, said: «In addition to a tough and flexible regulatory system, it’s vital organisations such as GambleAware and their partners can continue the great work they do, especially at times when there is an elevated risk of gambling harm with people staying at home due to social distancing measures.»
Earlier this month, GambleAware announced it received a record £10m in voluntary donations from the gambling industry from April 2019 to March 2020.