5. Ways gambling industry pursues influence with policymakers
Recent research into the commercial determinants of health, particularly as regards tobacco and alcohol, have focused on the diverse strategies industries use to influence governments. This presentation explores what this means for gambling.
Four processes aimed at achieving influence with governments are examined. Structural processes are powered by the sheer size and significance of a gambling corporation to an economy. Framing processes involve investment in ways of thinking and speaking which divert away from public health measures to address gambling harm. Professional processes co-opt standard business practices, such as philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, to position gambling corporations favourably with government. And, interpersonal processes focus on common strategies, such as gifting and regular contact, to build up influential relationships between industry and government actors.
In response to these, three strategies for interrupting these processes are explored: increasing transparency, challenging framings, and establishing points of independent accountability.
Government actors often demand causal evidence for restrictions on gambling, but place no equivalent demands on industry arguments for liberalisation.