Can an Industry Be Socially Responsible If Its Products Harm Consumers? The Case of Online Gambling
Online gambling companies claim that they are ethical providers. They seem committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices that are aimed at preventing or minimising the harm associated with their activities. Our empirical research employed a sample of 209 university student online gamblers, who took part in an online survey. Our findings suggest that the extent of online problem gambling is substantial and that it adversely impacts on the gambler’s mental and physical health, social relationships and academic performance. Online problem gambling seems to be related to the time spent on the Internet and gambling online, parental/peer gambling and binge drinking. As our findings show that there are harmful repercussions associated with online gambling, we argue that companies in this controversial sector cannot reach the higher level of CSR achieved by other industries. Nevertheless, they can gain legitimacy on the basis of their CSR engagement at a transactional level, and so, by meeting their legal and ethical commitments and behaving with transparency and fairness, the integrity of the company can be ensured. We also argue that current failures in the implementation and control of CSR policies, the reliance on revenue from problem gamblers’ losses, and controversial marketing activities appear to constitute the main obstacles in the prevention or minimisation of harm related to online gambling. As online gambling companies must be responsible for the harm related to their activities, we suggest that CSR policies should be fully implemented, monitored and clearly reported; all forms of advertising should be reduced substantially; and unfair or misleading promotional techniques should be banned. The industry should not rely on revenue from problem gamblers, nor should their behaviour be reinforced by marketing activities (i.e. rewards). We realise, however, that it is unrealistic to expect the online gambling industry to prioritise harm prevention over revenue maximisation. Policy makers and regulators, therefore, would need to become involved if the actions suggested above are to be undertaken. CSR is paramount to minimise harm and provide a healthier user experience in this business sector, but it also poses marketing dilemmas. We support a global collaborative approach for the online gambling industry, as harm related to gambling is a public health issue. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 110 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/applied+ethics/journal/10551/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hong, Harrison & Kacperczyk, Marcin, 2009. "The price of sin: The effects of social norms on markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 15-36, July.
- Adam Lindgreen & Valérie Swaen & François Maon, 2009.
"Introduction: Corporate Social Responsibility Implementation,"
Journal of Business Ethics,
Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 251-256, April.
- A. Lindgreen & V. Swaen & F. Maon, 2009. "Introduction : corporate social responsibility implementation," Post-Print hal-00575840, HAL.
- Crawford Moodie & Gerda Reith, 2009. "Responsible gambling signage on electronic gaming machines, before and after the implementation of the United Kingdom Gambling Act: an observational study," International Gambling Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 5-17, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:110:y:2012:i:4:p:481-497. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.