The gaming sector needs to take control of its reputation by focusing on corporate responsibility before being forced to do so by regulators, according to Ed Coke, the Director of Consulting Services at the Reputation Institute.
Coke will be a speaker at EiG 2015, which will return to Arena Berlin from October 20-22.
“I think the industry needs to take a deeper look at itself and get more stringent about its own conduct when it comes to corporate responsibility, otherwise one of the consequences – as we’ve seen in other industries – is for the regulator to take control of that dimension,” Coke told TotallyGaming.com.
“Acting now before it becomes a burning platform for regulators is a wise move as you can take greater control of your own destiny.”
Ahead of this year’s event, the Reputation Institute, which specialises in understanding and implementing reputation management strategies across a range of industries, will initiate a survey on the topic that will be open to those attending EiG. The results will then be announced in Berlin at the event.
“It is an online diagnostic survey that can be applicable to various industries,” Coke added.
“It is not simply about understanding the perspective of the external stakeholder – people who might be customers or the general public. It will also shed light on the industry’s self-perception.
“It is a short 10-minute questionnaire that assesses how capable companies consider themselves to be in reputation management, and how much of a handle they have on corporate responsibility.”
The Reputation Institute will benchmark the data against information captured from 300 reputation leaders from various sectors to put the results into context.
“The survey will provide useful insight into where the group is on the corporate reputation journey,” Coke added, before explaining the importance of comparing gaming to other industries.
“Corporate reputation is a five-step journey; I estimate that 60 per cent of the audience at EiG will probably be at stages one or two, and therefore a few steps behind other sectors.
“However, one major difference is that some other sectors have been forced to make changes by regulators.”
Coke also insisted that corporate responsibility makes good business sense, and is something that gaming companies now cannot afford to ignore.
“Obviously there are legal boxes that companies need to tick, but there is also a balance to be struck between corporate responsibility, regulatory compliance and operating a viable and successful business,” he added.
“Attendees at EiG might be surprised to know that reputation risk is taken into account at an institutional investment level. You might think that it is not a core part of your business, but it is.
“We are hoping that the survey will engage attendees before the event, and we know that there will be some really interesting results to come out of it.
“One theme will be responsible gambling of course, but there is an opportunity at EiG to place the results of the survey into a broader context of how companies can handle such challenges.”