Ethical Leadership is Fundamental for a Sustainable Gaming Industry in Australia

December 7, 2023 | Gaming
Ethical leadership is fundamental for a sustainable gaming industry in AustraliaAuthor: Alexandra Hoskins (Senet Legal Pty Ltd)

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With the rise of online gambling and the expansion of new markets, there is a growing unease for responsible and ethical practices within the gambling industry. As such, ethical leadership in the gambling industry is an area that is gaining increasing attention in recent years. This includes addressing issues such as gambling harm, money laundering and underage gambling. As leaders in this industry, it is important to not only comply with laws and regulations, but also to uphold high ethical standards.

Ethics is the process of understanding, doing and defending what is good and what is right, having regard to organisational purpose and values and those of the broader contexts within which we operate. Some stakeholders, however, may prioritize their personal gain over the well-being of others or the organization, leading to unethical behaviours which can have legal and regulatory consequences.

Ethics has both values and compliance dimensions. The values dimension is about how we aspire to be, and how we can best behave and act to achieve our business goals in fulfilment of our purpose and aligned to our values. The compliance dimension is about ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory obligations and other important rules such as licence conditions. Both carry expectations that falling short of these standards will result in disciplinary or other sanction-based consequences. Without a focus on ethics, minimum compliance is not enough to meet the standards expected of operators today, and without a compliance focus, there’s not enough practical application for our ethical ideals to make an impact on how we operate.

There are several key principles that can guide ethical leadership in the gambling industry. These include transparency, accountability, and social responsibility. Transparency involves being open and honest about business practices and ensuring that customers are fully informed about the risks associated with gambling. Accountability involves taking responsibility for actions and being willing to address any problems or issues that arise. Social responsibility is about considering the impact of gambling on individuals, families, and communities, and working towards minimising any negative effects.

Establishing a culture of ethical conduct and compliance doesn’t happen by accident. It requires continuous vigilance, time and support for people to influence lasting changes with a continuous improvement mindset. As regulatory demands continue to grow, companies need to have the resources and employ the capability to build compliance practices into their everyday processes. All of this requires intent and commitment from the board and senior management. Setting the tone from the top, senior leaders are integral in mandating that the commitment to a strong compliance culture will run throughout the organisation and become ‘the way we do things around here’. Leaders enable this through ensuring they are well-informed about compliance risks and obligations, allocating adequate resources and incentivising compliance-based decision-making. This includes setting high professional and ethical standards through codes and policies and monitoring progress, as well as holding relevant managers accountable to deliver good compliance outcomes.

In addition to these principles, ethical leaders in the gambling industry should also prioritize promoting responsible gambling practices and promoting a culture of integrity within organisations. This involves creating an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about any ethical concerns they may have, and where unethical behaviour is not tolerated.

This is where ethical leadership must come into play. Ethical leaders set an example by consistently demonstrating moral and ethical behaviour in all aspects of their decision-making process. They not only follow laws and regulations, but they also consider the impact of their actions on stakeholders, including customers, employees, and the community.

By embracing principles of transparency, accountability, social responsibility, promoting responsible gambling practices, and creating a culture of integrity, leaders in the industry can set a positive example and help to shape the future in an ethical and responsible manner. With ongoing efforts towards ethical leadership, the gambling industry can be sustainable while also ensuring the well-being of its customers and communities.

Author: Alexandra Hoskins (Senet Legal Pty Ltd)

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To discuss ethical leadership and your business’s compliance framework please contact Alexandra Hoskins at Senet – or +61 423 726 904.

About Senet Legal Pty Ltd: Senet is Australia’s leading specialist gambling law, regulatory and compliance advisory.

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