Socially responsible and accountable gambling in the public interest


  • Garry Smith Alberta Gaming Research Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Email: <email xlink:href=""></email>
  • Dan Rubenstein Scales of Governance, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada



While much has been written about the need for governments and the gambling industry to act responsibly in their provision of gambling, only modest advances have been made to establish best practices in this area. Worldwide, few governments even approach what William Eadington, in Trends in gambling and responsible gaming in the US and elsewhere (2003,, calls a stage-four level of responsible gambling stewardship, that is, the unconditional acceptance of strong measures to attenuate gambling-related harms. One of the cornerstones of a gambling regime oriented toward consumer safety and public interest is a commitment by government and the gambling industry to meet commendable standards for accountability and social responsibility. After studying the government's legislative framework for the operation and regulation of gambling in the province of Ontario (Canada), reviewing the province's gambling-related mission and public-policy statements, and interviewing key actors in the government's gambling administration, a template was developed for an optimally socially responsible and accountable gambling regime that operates in the public interest. The template, along with suggestions for improving accountability and social responsibility in the provision of gambling, is presented.






Original Article