The Responsible Gambling Trust was officially launched on Tuesday 17 April 2012 at Aspers Casino Westfield Stratford City, London – Britain’s newest and largest casino – following the merger of The GREaT Foundation and Responsible Gambling Fund.
Marc Etches, Chief Executive of the Responsible Gambling Trust, explained: “The purpose of the merger is to streamline the fundraising and distribution process, thereby maximising the money raised from the gambling industry in Britain to minimise problem gambling and gambling-related harm in British society through effective education and prevention techniques, which stop people getting into problems with their gambling, and ensuring that those that do develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support.”
Etches added: “We will work hard to ensure that the gambling industry in Britain retains its world-leading reputation for promoting responsibility in gambling and to demonstrate that legitimate business growth and job creation is balanced with social protection of the weak and vulnerable in society.”
As an independent national charity, the Responsible Gambling Trust aims to raise a minimum of £5million annually from the gambling industry in Britain within a voluntary (donation based) system to fund its research, education and treatment activities. Its fundraising target for 2012/13 is £6million.
The Responsible Gambling Trust aims to become an independent, authoritative and respected voice for responsible gambling in Britain. Neil Goulden, Chairman of Trustees, said:
“We will commission effective and value for money services from treatment and education providers, and will deliver an independently commissioned research programme that focuses on the causes of problem gambling and the effectiveness of various treatment, prevention and education techniques in preventing and/or reducing problem gambling.”
Announcing that former Labour Government Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe MP, and Professor Jonathan Wolff, a former member of the Gambling Review Body chaired by Sir Alan Budd, are to join the new Board of Trustees, Goulden added:
“It is very important that the Responsible Gambling Trust generates widespread trust and credibility, particularly in view of the investment of both fundraising and commissioning functions in a single, industry-led body. And to that end, we will ensure an appropriate balance between industry and independent trustees, and invite both the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board to observe our Board meetings.”
The new arrangements, underpinned by an ‘assurance and governance framework’ agreed between the Responsible Gambling Trust, the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), rely on openness, transparency and partnership to deliver results.
Speaking at the launch, Philip Graf, Chairman of the Gambling Commission said: “The Commission welcomes these new arrangements – a renewed approach of openness and transparency to help fill the evidence gaps and ensure that we do all we can to minimise the harm from gambling through evidence based regulation and an effective programme of research, education and treatment.”
Brian Pomeroy, Chairman of RGSB, added:“The Strategy Board looks forward to working closely with the Responsible Gambling Trust to ensure that the aims of the strategy are delivered through quality cost-effective programmes. Within this partnership approach, the Trust will provide valuable evidence to help the Board develop its strategy and advice to the Gambling Commission and will be able to demonstrate what works in the prevention and treatment of gambling-related harm.”
Further details about the Responsible Gambling Trust can be found at www.responsiblegamblingtrust.org.uk.