It is deeply disappointing that the Dormant Assets Commission has decided not to include dormant betting accounts in their recommendations to the UK Government.
The Dormant Assets Commission report indicated that,
“An expanded dormant assets scheme is unlikely to gain any voluntary participation from the industry and accordingly the Commission considers that unclaimed gambling winnings should not be included in an expanded dormant assets scheme.”
A report for the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned in December 2010 recommended that the government consult with high street betting operators to establish a voluntary scheme or – failing that – to enact legislation that would require operators to give funds from dormant accounts and unclaimed winnings to good causes.
I previously led the campaign for greater action to be taken on the issue of gambling related harm and addiction. I’ve raised the subject with the Prime Minister at question time and I’ve also met with a number of organisations in the betting and gaming industry such as bookmakers, the Responsible Gambling Trust, Senet Group, BACTA, the Association of British Bookmakers and the RCA Trust.
I’ve said for a long time that taking the funds from these dormant betting accounts could provide much needed assistance to those individuals and families affected by gambling.
I believe this is a missed opportunity and I’ll continue to argue for more action to be taken by the UK Government and gambling industry to offset gambling related harm.