Britain’s National Health Service will stop taking funds from the gambling industry to treat addicts, it was announced over the weekend.
In a letter to GambleAware, the charity, NHS England’s national mental health director said that the health service would instead fund its own gambling services from April 1.
Between April and December of 2020, the industry had contributed £16m to GambleAware to help fund treatment of gambling addicts. Grants amounting to £1.2m of this sum were given to NHS-run gambling clinics.
The letter said that patients were “uncomfortable” about using services that are paid for by the gambling industry and it had influenced the decision to reject funding from GambleAware. It admitted, however, that the funding had enabled treatment services to be activated faster.
The biggest contributor to the funds from the industry last year came from William Hill with £1m, Entain with £4m and Bet 365 with £4m.