In the previous post, I outlined the reasons operators should stick to operating and leave responsible gambling campaigns to organizations focused on prevention or treatment.
But there are two things we desperately need from the industry.
I’ll cut to the chase. We need funding.
Researchers, marketers, therapists, graphic designers, speakers, writers, and everyone else that will help build the infrastructure needed to reduce problem gambling and gambling harm all have one thing in common. They will need to be compensated.
It’s been a mix of shock and sadness when I see the level of funding for problem gambling and then look to the funding for other addictions. We’re so underfunded and it’s crippling our ability to learn about problem gambling.
Without funding, we’ll be stuck not knowing the answer to so many questions. And as a result, we will continue to make big decisions with very little evidence to support the opinion. This could have a wide-ranging impact both positive and negative on the industry as a whole.
and You Should Have Help…
Personally, I do not think this should fall squarely on your shoulders. I think the government should also be pitching in as they also profit through taxes levied on gambling.
But while they also should be expected to bear responsibility, it seems they have a case of short arms that don’t allow them to dive into their deep pockets. And if the heat is turned up on them, you will become—or will continue to be—public enemy #1 as the “big greedy companies” that should carry all the load.
So why not get ahead of the game?
If legislators are going to point to you as the “bad guys”, wouldn’t it be better to get a jump on things and reap the added benefit of positive PR? That way, you can point to the great things you are doing, throw your hands up, and ask “what are you going to do to help us?”
Great! Glad we agree.
The second place you could really help out is with data.
As operators, you collect a ton of data and that information could hold many of the clues we need to finally identify and define problem gambling. And while I know you are doing your part to develop new algorithms that track data in an effort to spot problem gamblers, wouldn’t you rather spend that time and energy on creating a new innovation?
So let’s figure out how to get the data to researchers. I know there are legal hoops to jump through (privacy, etc), but I’m confident we can figure it out.
Wasn’t That Easy?
Now get back to what you do best! Focus on your employees, your customers, and on developing the best product you can.
We’ll take care of the rest.