Responsible Gambling Campaigns Have an Authenticity Problem

Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Gambling, Responsible Gaming

Oct 28, 2020

A few weeks back, I tweeted the following:

Yes, responsible gambling campaigns have an authenticity problem.

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I imagine Tony the Tiger would face the same struggle should he decide to tackle childhood obesity and a Facebook campaign with the goal of reducing the time spent on the platform would raise quite a few eyebrows.

In each case, the target market simply doesn’t find the messenger or the message they promote to be believable. They lack authenticity.

What Makes Someone Authentic?

In order to better understand what might be done in the future, let’s first quickly highlight a few of the main components that make a person or brand authentic.

1. Understanding of Self

It’s difficult to be authentic without first being grounded in a complete understanding of self. Understanding who we are, what we stand for, and why we believe the things that we believe provides the foundation of authenticity.

2. Clearly Articulated Beliefs

With a full understanding of self, the next step in building authenticity is to clearly articulate those beliefs to others. By communicating these values and beliefs, we create a social contract with those we come into contact with.

3. Actions That Align with Stated Values

Our beliefs clearly stated, we now must act in a way that matches those beliefs in our day to day life. This is where we walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

4. A Long Track Record

Authenticity is a slow cooker, not a microwave. It takes time and repetitions to be built. Authentic people and brands have a long history of their actions aligning with their stated values.

5. Choosing Our Actions

Playing the long game of authenticity requires a commitment that only comes from choosing to do things because we want to do them, not because we have to.

6. Deep Expertise

It’s difficult to have authenticity without deep expertise. As expertise around a subject matter grows, the ability to clearly articulate beliefs grows as well.

7. Transparency around Potential Conflicts of Interest

While having a vested interest doesn’t automatically impact authenticity, not addressing or disclosing those conflicts of interest does impact authenticity.

Addressing Authenticity

Run through this list again and evaluate the gambling industry’s attempts at responsible gambling. In doing so, I’m sure you will see many areas that will need to be addressed if we are going to find success on this front.

Like so many things in life, accepting that there is a problem is the first step. The next step is to figure out how to fix it.

How we can fix the problem will be the topic of many future posts.

Jamie combined his professional background as a brand strategist with his experience as a former problem gambler to create dyve. He is also host of The After Gambling Podcast.