Companies that are dedicated to gambling have made more than £30 million in football shirt sponsorship agreements which have been criticized for making “insulting” donations to an industry-funded addiction charity, with one making a contribution of only £250.
A yearly list of contributors to GambleAware, which is supported by online betting platforms and bookies, throws light on the amount of money contributed by each of the companies.
The “White Label” Contentious Scheme
The data brought to light that the larger and more established businesses were making more contributions, in accordance with a pledge that was made in 2019, but that others, notably operators that allowed international firms’ access to the United Kingdom via the contentious scheme, known as “white label”, were making contributions that were considerably less.
Crystal Palace’s jerseys are based out of the Philippines and are sponsored by W88 owing to a white label partnership with Midnight Gaming, based in Dorset, who made donations valued at £250 to assist and support the United Kingdom’s strained treatment facilities.
The amount is not as much as what GambleAware has obtained from treatment centers and the Red Cross, which makes donations as they host fundraising raffles. Even non-GamStop UK casinos that accept PayPal presented at CasinoGap.org make bigger donations.
White Label Operators With Headquarters within the British Territories
TGP Europe, located on the Isle of Man, is yet another white label operator that offers a UK entry point for Sportsbet.io, SBOTOP, and Fun88, which sponsor the jerseys of Southampton, Leeds United, and Newcastle United, correspondingly.
Vivaro, a Malta-based company that assists not only ManBetX but also LoveBet in their sports sponsorship of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley, made a donation that was valued at $10,000. Asian BGE, who is the license holder for Dafabet, Celtic’s Philippines-based sponsor, donated £2,000 to the cause.
According to various sources, each agreement is worth more than £5 million per year. A request for an interview was not responded to by any of the companies.
The sponsors are international businesses that are making use of “white label” organizations to get accessibility to English and Scottish football.
The above-stated companies usually have their headquarters at British territories like the Isle of Man or Malta, but they have British gaming licenses that enable them to lend their services to corporations from all over the world, even nations where gambling advertising has been declared illegal.
These businesses may then place advertisements on football jerseys with the goal of reaching spectators in regions like China.
The sums of money that these firms have decided to donate in order to come to terms with the damage they have occasioned, according to James Grimes, whose organization the Big Step encourages football clubs to cut off contact with sports betting, are disparaging to the millions around the world negatively affected by betting in the United Kingdom, some of whom will be supporters of the club teams they endorse.
He went on to add that this is further proof that the sector should not be granted permission to fund football clubs or determine how much money should be donated to research, education, and therapy.
GambleAware – Donations for 2020–2021
GambleAware is an independent charity that donates funds, provides support, and works with the leading organizations and agencies that provide education and treatment services to reduce and prevent harms from gambling across England, Scotland, and Wales.
GambleAware is recognized by the Gambling Commission and helps to promote general public awareness, especially amongst the youngsters, to prevent and stop gambling addictions.
GambleAware receives voluntary donations from the gambling companies in Britain who are making enough profits to make a voluntary donation of a minimum of 0.1% of their annual Gross Gambling Yield as charity.
Every Gambling company is equally acknowledged and published on their website. It is the social responsibility of every gambling company in Britain to donate for the cause of preventing gambling harm.
GambleAware has recently reported detailed information of their donations for the past 12 months ending on March 31st, 2021. The sum of voluntary donations received by the charitable institution is £19 million that equals roughly £9 million more than the annual voluntary donation received in the financial year 2019-20, which equals £10.05 million.
GambleAware is supposed to receive £100 million from the four major operators in the gambling business for the next 5 years. These companies are ‘Entain’, which owns more than 25 well established famous brands, ‘William Hill’, a London based operator and maker of video games like online roulette, Blackjack and many more. ‘Flutter’ owns brands like paddy power, Betfair, FanDuel, and several other brands, and the last ‘Bet365’ is also based in the United Kingdom.
Together these four major gambling companies donated £15.4 million for the current year 2020-21. The huge amount of voluntary donations received by GambleAware made them provide better services using charity funds.
All the funds received through donations are used to help people to make rational decisions about their gambling. The funds are also used for building a coordinated and efficient network for preventing and treating people from gambling harm and addiction.
GambleAware has also partnered with leading organizations and agencies like the NHS. These donations are used to fund these organizations and agencies so they can render services for preventing gambling harms like the National Gambling Treatment Service and also providing a national gambling helpline number to treat people from gambling addictions.
These organizations also promote awareness related to the risk of gambling and safer means for gambling. This grant-making charity has received £8.8 million to its core funding through regulatory settlements with gambling companies.
GambleAware has a detailed list of companies on its website that has promoted the Safer Gambling Campaign by donating funds to this charitable institution. There has been an additional donation that was received by the media broadcasters. The funds donated added up to £3.9 million in the year 2020-21.
GambleAware – The Agreement Between Business and Government
GambleAware is the primary recipient of industry funds under the current donation structure, which is a discretionary system that relies on a long-standing gentleman’s agreement between both the business and the government.
As a requirement of holding a license, businesses must raise gambling awareness and contribute to programs pertaining to gambling addiction. They usually donate GambleAware at least 0.1 percent of their yearly sales, although there is a list of additional permitted beneficiaries.
Claire Murdoch, the national mental health director of NHS England, made it known to the Guardian earlier in the month that the system results in inadequate money, leaving the NHS to pick up the pieces.
Rather, Murdoch, GambleAware, and the Gambling Commission, the industry regulator, have advocated for an obligatory fee, which has been opposed by the government.
The tiny sums that were paid by companies profiting from big football sponsorship agreements, according to Scottish National Party MP Ronnie Cowan, reinforced the argument. He said that the gaming industry has been deflecting scrutiny and criticism for ages by championing the idea that it provides gambling harm assistance.
Furthermore, he brought to light that they were in need of a legislative charge that generates significant sums of money and is distributed independently of the business. The industry that caused the harm cannot be held accountable for funding the education, rehabilitation, and assistance that is becoming more necessary.
The four major operators – Entain, which owns Ladbrokes, William Hill, Flutter, which owns Paddy Power, and Bet365 – have increased their contributions in the year and, thus, bringing the overall industry contribution from £10 to £19 million.
The commitment made by the big four gambling companies has resulted in the highest donations received in a year. Such big donations will help them to continue and expand their services towards preventing gambling services.
The charity is focused on improving the National Gambling Treatment Service and provides support to those who have a gambling disorder.