The cost of RG negligence

A genuine embrace of CSR can transform public perception of gaming and Lottery.

Attempts to improve the image of gambling are being washed away in a tide of bad press – and lotteries are in danger of being swept along too. Regulators, along with the public, are increasing their demands on operators to behave ethically.

Companies that are brave enough to make Corporate Social Responsibility a central pillar of their growth strategy could make major strides towards changing this negative perception and finding new ways to grow.

The UK Gambling Commission’s annual report shows public perception of gambling at its most negative in almost a decade. Lotteries may not be responsible for this shift but they could well be affected if they do not take preemptive action. This all stems from an underlying perception of gambling as a way for people to lose money. From the long odds on lotteries to the old cliché that “the house always wins,” there is a notion that people are more likely to lose than gain from playing.

Gambling companies are often keen to make a point of explaining in depth how they comply with regulation in various markets, but ultimately this is a way of asking for praise for simply meeting the minimum requirements of the regulatory model under which they comply. Factor in some highly questionable advertising across the board and an insistence on barely-clothed models at industry shows and it is clear that the industry has an image problem. This could make the sector more vulnerable to overly-strict regulation, which could have a knock-on effect of limiting lotteries’ ability to raise money for worthwhile causes. The more negative the public perception of a service or product, the more scope governments have to limit the supply.

Gambling companies’ standard defense is that they do not offer dangerous products, but a form of entertainment. I do not, however, tend to see that notion reflected in how many of these businesses function. Too often it feels there is a desire to comply with what is legal (if so), rather than to do what is ethical.

Lotteries, of course, are different from private operators. They are businesses created to raise money for charitable, social, cultural and civic projects and this puts them at a clear advantage, one on which they can build a responsible and sustainable business that serves society. This is where corporate social responsibility (CSR) comes in.

There are huge opportunities for lotteries to embrace CSR. A serious embrace of CSR is not, however, about simply starting a new Responsible Gambling initiative, putting out press releases on the projects supported by Lottery, or ensuring that advertising does not offend. It is looking across an entire business at how decisions are made, to ultimately ensure that everything a company does has a wider benefit to society.  When adopted across an entire business, CSR can improve public perception of a company, address jackpot fatigue by providing another reason to play, promote innovation by encouraging employees to create new solutions for issues such as responsible gambling, and ultimately ensure a company’s long-term future.

Of course, there is always resistance to change. Companies have protested that this concept is particularly hard to define, something that can only work in certain markets, or under certain circumstances, or they point to charitable work they already do.

In this industry, CSR should be seen as not what a company does with the money it earns, but how it earns this money. If a company uses its advertising to promote gaming responsibly, finding unique and unusual ways to engage with their consumers, they will be able to improve their public image. This in turn can help tackle matters such as Responsible Gaming – if players are informed in a creative way, the message that playing should only be an entertainment and never an investment becomes a part of the way one buys the product. Additionally, although people play to win, when they lose, they will know that at least they contributed to doing good for society.

Creativity in the gambling industry is too often seen as grabbing customers’ attention with eye-catching, controversial, or simply repetitive advertising. What if people look beyond these tried, tested and tired ways of connecting to customers and think about how the industry can use its considerable resources to grow business by doing good?

A key example of the concept behind growing a business by doing good comes from Sol de Janeiro, a company that sells various sun creams. The company launched a program to train tattoo artists in Brazil how to spot tell-tale blemishes and discoloured marks on customers’ skin that may indicate a person has skin cancer. Considering the high prevalence of skin cancer in such a sunny climate, it could be argued that the market for sun cream can be expanded by educating people on the importance of protection. By training the tattoo artists, Sol de Janeiro taps into a huge network that it can use to raise awareness of risks related to skin cancer, and indirectly, of their products to their key audience: young, influential people – often those that have a wide presence on key communications channels.

Lotteries could take inspiration from the sun cream company in this case. National lotteries operate huge retail networks and often have expansive online presences. How could lotteries leverage the power of these networks to grow by doing good, rather than to grow and to do good?

Differentiation is increasingly important in an industry where national lotteries often feel they are being forced to compete against private operators that may cannibalise their revenue. But lottery operators have an in-built advantage, in that their revenue is used for charitable, social or civic causes. Embracing CSR can help these companies build on this key differentiator. These concepts may be new to many companies but that’s why Silverfish CSR has moved into this sector – there is a huge opportunity to do good, and we are here to help.

CSR + RG = good for business? Take the test!

For more information: info@silverfish.fr;   www.digitalRG.com

For video examples: http://www.silverfish.fr/social-responsibility; 

Article written by Laura Da Silva Gomes, Silverfish CSR

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Synopsis

Français

Le coût de la négligence du GR

Un véritable engagement en faveur de la RSE peut changer la perception qu’a le public de la loterie et de l’industrie du jeu.

Les loteries sont créées pour générer de l’argent pour des projets caritatifs, sociaux, culturels et civiques, ce qui leur confère un avantage certain sur lequel elles peuvent développer un modèle commercial responsable et durable qui sert la société. C’est là que la RSE intervient.

Pour les opérateurs de loteries, les opportunités d’adopter la RSE sont immenses. Lorsqu’elle est adoptée dans toute l’entreprise, la RSE peut améliorer la perception que le public en aura, répondre à la lassitude des joueurs en proposant une autre raison de jouer, promouvoir l’innovation en encourageant les employés à créer des nouvelles solutions sur des questions comme le jeu responsable, et, en fin de compte, assurer l’avenir à long terme de l’entreprise.

La RSE ne doit pas être perçue comme ce que fait une entreprise avec l’argent qu’elle gagne, mais plutôt comment elle gagne cet argent.

Español

El precio de la negligencia en el juego responsable

Adoptar de verdad la CSR puede transformar la percepción pública del juego y la lotería.

Las loterías se crean para recaudar dinero para proyectos caritativos, sociales, culturales y cívicos, lo que las coloca en una posición claramente ventajosa desde la que pueden crear un negocio responsable y sostenible al servicio de la sociedad. Aquí es donde entra en juego la responsabilidad social corporativa (CSR).

Hay grandes oportunidades para que las loterías adopten la CSR. Cuando se adopta la CSR a todos los niveles en una empresa, puede mejorar la opinión pública respecto a la misma, mitigar el cansancio que se siente tras haber ganado ofreciendo otra razón para jugar, fomentar la innovación animando a los empleados a diseñar nuevas soluciones para problemas tales como el juego responsable y, en definitiva, asegurar el futuro a largo plazo de la empresa.

La CSR no debería interpretarse en términos de “qué hace una empresa con el dinero que gana”, sino de “cómo gana ese dinero”.

Deutsch

So viel kostet Nachlässigkeit beim RG

Effektiv umgesetzte CSR kann die öffentliche Wahrnehmung von Glücksspiel und Lotterien nachhaltig zum Positiven beeinflussen –

Lotterien sollen Gelder für gemeinnützige, soziale, kulturelle und Bürgerprojekte sammeln. Dies bringt sie in eine einzigartige Position, um ein verantwortliches und nachhaltiges Geschäftsmodell aufzubauen, das im Dienste der Gesellschaft steht. Hier kommt das Thema Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ins Spiel.

Lotterien können nur gewinnen, wenn sie sich für das CSR öffnen. Wenn es konsequent im ganzen Unternehmen angewendet wird, kann CSR das Image des Unternehmens verbessern, Spielmüdigkeit durch die soziale Komponente als zusätzlichen Motivator entgegenwirken, Innovation fördern, weil es Mitarbeiter dazu anhält, neue Lösungen für die Problemstellungen des verantwortlichen Glücksspiels zu finden, und den langfristigen Unternehmenserfolg sichern.

Bei CSR geht es nicht darum, was ein Unternehmen mit seinen Gewinnen anstellt, sondern wie es sein Geld verdient.

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