According to an analysis by Commetric, a media analytics firm, the most prominent subject discussed in the media regarding ICE London was safer gambling. Additionally, gambling companies are now placing more emphasis on sustainability.
The Consumer Protection Zone Had a Record Number of Stands
The International Casino Exhibition (ICE) 2023, the largest event in the gaming industry, returned to a full-scale post-pandemic event in February 2023, breaking its attendance record by drawing over 40,000 unique attendees from around the world.
The event’s theme was “Stronger Together,” and, according to an analysis by Commetric, the media debate surrounding the event revealed that sustainability and diversity had become more significant reputation priorities for gambling companies. Meanwhile, safer gambling, or responsible gambling, has become a focal point in the industry’s communications efforts.
The Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ), which comprises providers of responsible gambling tools and solutions alongside not-for-profit organizations, was a high-profile feature of the ICE show floor, with a record 20 stands.
Several high-profile brands sponsored the zone, including IGT, the Responsible Gaming Council, and the UK Gambling Commission. Notably, safer gambling charities such as Betknowmore and Better Change each received £13,200 at a presentation ceremony held on the opening day of ICE London, thanks to the support of the CPZ sponsors, raising a total of £52,800.
Many countries have introduced measures to address gambling addiction, with the gaming industry facing increasing scrutiny. The UK is set to make several modifications to its gambling legislation, including compulsory reviews of what customers can afford to bet and limits on online stakes.
Campaigners have criticized the industry for not doing enough to prevent harmful betting, but the industry’s focus on safer gambling at ICE 2023 shows a desire to address these concerns and promote awareness of the harms of gambling.
In addition to safer gambling, sustainability emerged as a new topic of interest for gambling companies. While gaming may not seem like an environmentally impactful industry, it does create demand for carbon emissions, such as through data centers and business travel. Thus, it is essential for gaming companies to reduce their organization’s carbon footprint.
IGT became the most influential company at ICE 2023, in part because of its new sustainability efforts. IGT’s global sustainability initiatives were encompassed within its Sustainable Play campaign, unveiled at the event, which included commitments to nine of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The campaign aims to celebrate IGT’s efforts to implement greater sustainability measures through practices that benefit the company, its key stakeholders, and the gaming industry.
Finally, casinos must promote their positive economic impact to improve their reputation. While brick-and-mortar casinos and betting shops create environmental issues such as biodiversity degradation and air pollution, online gambling requires significant energy to power its online servers. As a result, iGaming’s environmental impact is growing, and the industry must take action to reduce its carbon footprint.