The Gaming Industry : Politics Passion Purpose

the gaming industry have your say

The Gaming Industry, Politics Passion Purpose   

Why Gambling Has Such a Bad Publicity in Europe?

For all of us working in Gaming (as in gambling for money) the current political situation in Europe is not very promising long-term. Various governments look at gaming as something bad, causing all sorts of addictions and problems. Through this witch-hunt approach politicians have managed to tarnish an already weak image of our industry, leading to its slow demise, which is being supported by the current financial crisis.

The Gaming Industry : The Voicepolitics the gaming industry

Funny enough, our voice in all this is missing. There is no discussions or arguments, as there are no arguments from our side. I thought it was wrong – I don’t feel that I do anything inappropriate working in the Gaming industry, quite the opposite. I find this to be a job just like any other one, and I take pride in being good at it. Through this post I would like to start a discussion, get your voices on the subject and maybe start an independent survey or research to prove that we are no worst or no better than for example alcohol industry.

The Gaming Industry : The Start

In order to see why we have such a bad name, we need to have a look at few things. First of all, what is it that we do?

We satisfy demand. People through ages have bet on outcome of various things,(its human nature, it is that what drives us to progress, the Olympians bet on themselves that their lifetime of training will be better than the next man’s)  be it dog races, bull fights, hunt results, 80 days around the world races, etc. Of course humans are very innovative in terms of satisfying demand, they have quickly realised that there is not enough events one can bet on which nature supplied and someone came up with an idea of creating such events. All to chase more profits – events happening more often gives a chance to bet (and collect winnings) more often, resulting in more profit. Enter roulette, black jack, dice and some other games, depending on geographical region and tradition. Through this of course some jobs were created, of which people never heard of before, namely croupiers and all related support jobs. Good people cost good money and again humans reacted inventing an automated event generating device – enter the slot machine. The Gaming Industry was created which could generate and satisfy demand on many levels.

The Gaming Industry : Greed and Human Nature

human mind gaming industry So far so good. Unfortunately greed (greed is not just in the gaming industry, its within us all) created many problems and history is full of mafia and illegal activities connected with gaming. Human nature is difficult to change and there are many different kinds of people. We have those who will steal and cheat, and those who will not, and some shades of both in between. This is the reason gaming has been regulated and Las Vegas history shows that this can be done successfully on many levels.

Now back to the present day. My opinion is that the fault of the bad name the gaming industry has comes from two sources. The first are the governments and people working there. The second is the gaming industry itself. Here are the explanations why.

The Gaming Industry : The Government’s

The task of the government, at least one of them, is to create laws (or framework) in which the gaming industry (any industry) can properly function, while laws of general public are protected. This applies to alcohol, chemical, drug, metallurgical and gaming industries as well, amongst many others. The public should be protected from illegal production (potentially health risk), pollution, abuse of substances, air pollution and illegal gaming, respectively. The task of the government is not only to issue laws, but also making sure that those are being followed. That is why we have police, tax authorities etc. Their task is to make sure that various laws are being followed. And here the problem starts: governments are not interested in policing their own gaming laws, because that costs money and, by doing good policing, it would shift responsibility in the eyes of the public form the industry to them for making sure that gaming is cleanSince gaming has a bad name, governments do not need to do anything except collect  money. In one sentence, the situation is as follows: laws are created, based on those laws taxes are collected, licenses are issued, technical approvals demanded and businesses limited. All this activity results in significant revenues for the government. As it happens, (we are dealing with different kinds of people, remember?) some individuals will go illegal and open their own gambling shops, creating bad publicity for all. Instead of policing those, governments choose that bad publicity to tighten the screw even more on our industry.The general public does not know or is not interested in the fact that laws should be followed and policed, not new ones created, because new ones will end up in the same pile of rubbish. Casino Equipment Technical Requirements 

The Gaming Industry : Enforcement

There is also one more issue with created laws. Governments, at least in many European countries, they do not employ gaming industry specialists to create them. They do that themselves, creating laws full of holes, inconsistencies, illogical or downright stupid formulations. Not mentioning the fact that such laws always leave doors open for corruption, simply by being imprecise and open for interpretation. Why? Politicians, as we are, are in it for the money. They have only one (the current) cadence to make as much as they can. Unfortunately any corruption attempts just add to general bad name of the gaming industry, building the next piece of the vicious circle. Why? Because again,the uneducated general public, having been told that the gaming is bad, will be convinced that bribe is our fault, not the politicians accepting it. Or demanding it (he can, he will be  acquitted).

For any specialist working in the gaming industry the way is clear, especially that we are all for the proper laws, since those create framework in which we can operate andthe gaming industry have your say which should protect us.  What governments could do is to take example of laws in countries where gaming functions as normal business, such as the US, Singapore, South Africa or Macau, and be very consequent in making sure that the laws are being followed, improving them if a loophole will be detected and/or abused or when new technology will require change. Such laws should build base for controlling bodies, build from former industry workers and should foresee automatic, swift and heavy punishment (not open for interpretation) of any wrongdoers. One of course may ask: why not ban the whole thing altogether? Many governments will choose that way, closing eyes on one simple fact – banning something does dot make it disappear. Look at Russiagaming is banned there, but you can play almost wherever you want. Of course banning also requires policing, only in such case policing is being paid by taxes which could be used elsewhere.

The Gaming Industry : The Future

What can the gaming industry do to improve its image? Be open, for starters. Explain to the  general public how gaming really works. But most importantly, stop dealing with grey areas or bad companies. We have organisations of manufactures, casinos or operators. We should create an industry wide database of bad apples. Name the names: list company names which are active in under-invoicing, corruption, or are known for not paying the invoices or being notoriously late in paying them. Name names of managers who work for them and approve such practices. And then stop dealing with them. As a consequence, we will clean our own ranks from bad apples. We will also protect our investors from risk of failure, as we will know earlier which customer is potentially risky in terms of payment. All is needed to achieve that is little bit of consequence and good will. Greed can be tamed that way – dealing with companies from the list would put you on the list. Simple. Is it doable? Well, what are the credit ratings if not the similar thing? If we would do that, we could show and in many cases help the governments in identifying potential problem areas or companies. But the policing we should leave to them, demanding it when needed, also publicly. We need to stop lying down and be taking it, as in my opinion, lack of action from our side just confirms that we have something to hide and plays into hands of politicians. 

The Gambling Commission Link 

[box type=”bio”] This Guest Post was submitted by “Industry Professional” . (S)he has been in the industry for many years and is very well regarded in their chosen field, I am sure that you will hear from them again [/box]

The Gaming Industry : What Do You Say !

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Started working in the Casino Industry in 1985, just never managed to leave as yet. Visited 99% of all UK Casinos, seen them all,

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