Did you know that no matter what type of casino games you enjoy, you contribute to charity with every wager you make? When you play real money casino games (except for online demo slots or other games played in demo mode), you are also contributing to the community in which you live. This may come as a surprise because charity is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a casino operator. However, that image is a cartoonish stereotype that was formed years ago. Today, casino operators are companies like all other businesses, and they use their profits for the benefit of society as well. We’re sure you will be even more surprised to learn what the online gambling industry is doing for charity.
How Do Gambling Operators Give Back to the Community?
Operators contribute to charity in two ways: mandatory and voluntary. Let’s talk about mandatory contributions first because it shows how important legalized gambling is and how it can be beneficial to society. In countries where gambling is legal, you need to obtain a license to open a casino. The cost of this license is usually quite high and must continue to be paid annually. We are not talking about the tax that the casinos pay here. You can see the licenses as “business permits”, but their cost is quite high.
There is a reason for this: by law, a significant portion of these license fees is spent on charity. For example, according to an official report, £9.7 million of gambling license revenues in the UK alone were used for different charities in 2020. Moreover, £9.6 million was used to support social responsibility projects such as Gamble Aware. We are talking about £20 million here: this money was transferred to charity, thanks to gambling operators in the UK. The same report states that this amount could reach £60 million by 2023.
All countries where gambling is legal have a similar system. A part of the license fees is always reserved for social responsibility projects, including the organizations established for the treatment of problem gambling. In other words, operators support not only charity activities but also organizations established to reintegrate problem gamblers into society. However, such mandatory charity activities are not the only contribution of gambling operators to society: almost all operators carry out many activities voluntarily. Below are some examples of these.
Volunteer Charities of Operators
Pragmatic Play contributes to many charity activities, especially in Eastern European countries. One of the most recent examples of this is a donation of 7,700 Euros to the Homeless Animal Hospital in Romania. Pragmatic Play had previously donated 21,000 Euros to the Metropolis Philanthropic Foundation.
BigHeartBingo is an online bingo site that uses all of its profits for charity. It is managed entirely on a voluntary basis, and for years, it has donated all its income to organizations such as Save the Children, Age Concern, and the Royal Institute of Blind People.
888 Holding has its own charity organization called GR8 PEOPLE. In this organization, 888 employees voluntarily donate to the underprivileged sectors of society (for example, people with disabilities) throughout the year, free of charge. It is not just a financial contribution: some employees spend most of the year helping such people in their daily lives.
Aspers Group owns an organization called Community Action for Responsible Gaming (CARG) and is basically trying to make things easier for other Responsible Gambling organizations. For example, if Gamblers Anonymous cannot find a place for a meeting, CARG steps in and rents a place. Likewise, it works with community leaders to raise problem gambling awareness. Aspers Group also has different projects that focus on returning wild animals to nature.
Bet365 has been financing The Denise Coates foundation on its own for years. To date, £346 million has been transferred to the foundation, which has been used to support dozens of charities. The Foundation provided serious assistance even to victims who were harmed after the typhoon in the Philippines.
Betfred has an official charity organization called The Injured Jockeys Fund, which provides close to £1.2 million in support to injured/disabled jockeys. In addition, Betfred is known for donating all of its income from time to time to charities. In 2019, the company donated proceeds (£1.25 million) from all betting shops to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Betway supports and works with other organizations such as YGAM and BetKnowMore. It also has its own charities, such as the Guernsey Sports Association for the Disabled (GSAD). Since 2019, the company also supports CALM (an organization against suicide), encourages its employees to join the Hackney Half Marathon. For every employee that joins the marathon, Betway makes a donation to CALM. To date, it has raised more than 20,000 GBP.