Responsible gambling and legislative compliance

Although the term responsible gambling is widely used in reference to gambling policies, regulatory requirements and industry codes of conduct, no clear operational definition exists. This has led to a lack of clarity as to which stakeholder, government, industry, community and individual is accountable for what and to whom.

As a consequence, increased criticism is directed to the use of the term responsible gambling. This criticism suggests it is used as a meaningless descriptor by governments and industry to sanitize gambling policies and activities; deflecting criticism associated with their respective roles in legislating for and promoting gambling products.

In reality responsible gambling is best described as an outcome; an individual gambling within personally affordable levels in the absence of harm. Policies and strategies can be directed towards achieving responsible gambling as an outcome, with governments and industry each accountable to the community for implementing action that will lead to this outcome.

In this context, regulators are accountable for monitoring industry operators to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

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