Egaming industry predictions for 2019 – including esports and social responsibility
Diversity and inclusion in the gambling industry: Not just in gender, but also in social background, age, disability, race/ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation etc. If… Read more
Diversity and inclusion in the gambling industry:
Not just in gender, but also in social background, age, disability, race/ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation etc. If ethnicity pay reporting is introduced following the current BEIS consultation, it is likely to be just as revealing and challenging as pay-gap reporting. This is an issue not just for the operators, but also for regulators and suppliers, and means – or should mean – diversity and inclusion amongst consumers, management and staff. The MeToo campaign has raised the stakes here but the incentives for the industry are not just negative, such as fear of sanction and censure. There are potential benefits – in better products, better customer relations, better reputation, a more productive workforce, easier recruitment & better retention of a talented workforce – for those who embrace diversity and foster inclusion.
The focus on reducing gambling-related harm will continue. The reduction in FOBT limits is set to take effect from April, with the related 6% increase in gaming duty coming in at the same time: this additional challenge for the land-based industry may see an increased focus on remote gambling. ‘Know your customer’ will continue to be critical, with the announcement of the results of the Gambling Commission’s consultation on age and identity verification, as well as the current consultations on priorities for the next National Responsibility Gambling Strategy and the recipients of industry contributions to research, prevention & treatment, and the imminent consultation on customer interaction. There should be opportunities for innovative use of developing technology both to help operators to identify and interact with those who have, or may be at risk of developing, a gambling problem, and to structure their products and marketing to minimise potential harm, and also to help consumers to gamble safely, including better management of the time and money they spend gambling, blocking advertisements, and obtaining help.
The whistle-to-whistle advertising ban is expected to apply to sports (other than horse & greyhound racing) from the start of the 2019-2020 season. The attention – of operators, regulators and campaigners – may now switch to other media, including online and mobile. The winners in the ongoing battle to win and retain customers who can gamble safely are likely to be those who target their advertising most effectively rather than relying on what is perceived as saturation coverage.
And of course the elephant in the room at the time of writing – Brexit, and consequent relocation of operators who need an EU base & licence to benefit from free movement of services, as well as the more general impact of Brexit on available work force, economic growth etc etc. And if there is a change of government, we may see a compulsory levy and a ban on credit card betting.
These predictions were previously published in EGR