Debating the Gambling Levy in the United Kingdom

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Whether eliminating the statutory gambling levy in the United Kingdom would benefit or harm consumers has been a subject of discussion for an extended period. This endeavors to offer a thorough examination of the matter.

The UK Gambling Tax

The statutory gambling levy is a tax on the gambling industry in the UK. The funds generated from this tax support programs that help problem gamblers and fund research into the effects of gambling. However, the gambling industry has argued that the levy is unfair, as it only applies to them and puts them at a disadvantage compared to other sectors.

Putting Forth the Plan

Recently, the government has put forth a plan for the future of the industry in the UK through the release of a report. One of the proposals in this report includes discontinuing the statutory gambling levy. This proposal has generated concern among those with interest in the industry, as they believe it may adversely impact consumers.

Proponents Beliefs

Advocates of the proposal believe that discontinuing the statutory gambling levy will benefit consumers. They suggest that lowering the cost of operating in the gambling industry, prices for consumers will also decrease. They argue this will broaden access to gambling for a more significant number of people. Furthermore, it will foster increased competition within the industry, leading to new ideas and improved offerings for consumers.

Various viewpoints indeed exist regarding the proposed changes. Some individuals are worried about its potential impact on consumers. On the other hand, they believe that the resources generated through the current levy play a vital role in funding programs that aid individuals struggling with gambling problems.

Without the levy, they fear that these programs may lose funding and that the number of people struggling with gambling-related issues will rise, causing harm to their health, finances, and relationships.

Moreover, they emphasize that the current levy also supports research into the impact of gambling. They are concerned that without this funding, there may be a decrease in research into the possible negative effects of gambling on consumers.

The Debate on the Levy

The debate over the statutory gambling levy has been ongoing for years. In 2018, the government reviewed the UK’s gambling industry resulting in several recommendations. One of these was to increase the statutory gambling levy to help fund programs that support problem gamblers.

Despite this recommendation, the government has chosen a different approach and proposes to drop the statutory gambling levy. The reasons for this change in direction are partially clear. Still, there is some speculation that it is due to pressure from the gambling industry, which argues that the levy is putting them at a disadvantage compared to other sectors.

Professional Studies Conducted

Studies on the effects of the statutory gambling levy by the Gambling Commission found the levy has positively impacts the gambling industry and reducing the number of problem gamblers. Another study by the Responsible Gambling Trust finds the levy has a positive effect on the health and well-being of consumers and is helping to reduce the harm caused by gambling.

The debate on dropping the statutory gambling levy and it helping or hurting consumers is complex. Supporters of the proposal argue that it leads to lower prices and an increase in competition. Opponents say that it leads to a rise in problem gamblers and a lack of research into the potential adverse effects of gambling on consumers.

Informed Decisions

To make an informed decision, considering the findings of research and studies on the effects of the statutory gambling levy is vital. This will give policymakers a clearer understanding of the potential impact of dropping the levy on consumers. Additionally, respecting the perspectives and experiences of consumers and the gambling industry ensures that the decision is fair and balanced.

Ultimately, the decision on the future of the statutory gambling levy should rely only on evidence, not pressure from any particular interest group. The government must take a measured and evidence-based approach to ensure the best outcome for consumers.

The Future of the Gambling Levy

In conclusion, the debate over the future of the statutory gambling levy requires careful consideration and a thorough understanding of the potential consequences. While dropping the levy may benefit consumers, any decision must rely only on evidence and a complete understanding of the potential impact on consumers. The government must take a measured and evidence-based approach to ensure the best outcome for consumers in the UK.


  1. The Gambling Act Review released by the UK government
  2. The review of the gambling industry 2019 in the UK conducted by the government
  3. The House of Lords whitepaper on Gambling Harm
  4. The study on research, education, and treatment
  5. Debate on Gambling Harm, House of Lords, April 2022


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