Peter Hannibal, CEO of the cross-sector strategic body, the Gambling Business Group, has warned that all forms of gambling are in danger of being treated similarly to the tobacco industry unless it starts to take the lead in improving social responsibility.
Commenting following the government’s announcement of the £2 maximum stake for FOBTs he said: “If you take a step backwards and actually look for positives from the Gambling Review they are sadly absent. Instead the industry has been kicking lumps out of each other with the upshot being a further reduction in the reputational standing of gambling per se. However there is one subject that if we genuinely embrace it as well as talking about it, it might just be a strategy back to recovery and that subject is Social Responsibility.”
He continued: “We have arguably been ‘led by the nose’ with the responsible gambling agenda to date. Much of what we are doing has been either as a defence mechanism or is prescribed in the National Responsible Gambling Strategy. There are very few examples of the industry taking the lead on improving Social Responsibility measures in gambling, yet it has a material impact upon the reputations of all of us and our businesses. If there is any good at all to come out of the Gambling Review, it should be a renewed and united focus on the recovery of the industry’s reputation through a ramping up of our Social Responsibility culture and credentials.”