|In the UK, the Responsibility in Gambling Trust (RiGT) has announced that two-thirds of the nation’s gambling firms failed to contribute to a fund specifically set up to combat problem gamblers.|
Although RiGT stated that it had reached its target of $7.15 million through voluntary donations, many firms had given nothing. The money is to be used to treat problem gamblers along with funding research into gambling addiction with the BBC reporting that only 1,000 of the 3,200 UK licensed gambling companies donated money.
The Trust stated that it had raised almost $200,000 more than its target with the money coming mainly from larger companies such as big high street betting firms and casino operators. This means that the majority of smaller licensed gambling operators including casinos, bookmakers, bingo halls and gambling websites, gave nothing.
However, John Greenway, Chairman for RiGT, stated that all the organisation can do is write to companies and remind them of their responsibilities.
'We sent around 3,200 letters twice but all we have available to us are the names and addresses of operators,” said Greenway.
“We don't have the information about what they do or how big they are.”
Despite this, Greenway stated that he remains optimistic about reaching the group’s $13.91 target for voluntary contributions by 2010.
'I think we can but I think those parts of the industry which have been most generous to us want to make sure they're not subsidising non-payers,' said Greenway.
'Perhaps they need to have somebody out there actively campaigning and getting to know the people that run these companies and using a salesman technique to go out there and actually ask people for money,” said Ian Semell from GamblingTherapy.org.
'Because at the end of the day, if they don't contribute, I'm sure there will be an enforced levy.”