The marketing of legal but potentially harmful products and corporate social responsibility: The gaming industry view

June Buchanan*, Gregory Elliott, Lester W. Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


A number of industries sell products (or services) such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling that, although legal, are considered potentially harmful to some members of society. Unlike other products that attract no attention when using strategies to increase market share, many of these potentially harmful products attract criticism from concerned members of society and often governments when their markets increase. Corporate scandals in recent times have led to greater calls for social responsibility to be embraced by all businesses, but the call is most pronounced towards organisations providing products that are detrimental to certain members of society. This paper investigates gaming industry perceptions of compliance with the precepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the marketing of electronic gaming machines (EGMs). Thirty-eight face-to-face and/or telephone interviews were undertaken with EGM manufacturers, gaming consultants,managers of gaming establishments and casino operators in Nevada (USA) and New South Wales (Australia), along with management of the gaming regulatory authority in New South Wales (NSW). In spite of a much tighter regulatory environment in NSW, it was found that the major gaming operators in Nevada appear to be aware of, and practice, CSR to a noticeably greater extent than do gaming operators in NSW. Notwithstanding this however, EGM operators both in Nevada and NSW need to implement socially responsible marketing strategies and tactics to a significantly higher degree than is currently practiced in order to enhance their reputation, decrease criticism from key stakeholders and minimise the potential threat of increased regulatory constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright Common Ground and The Author/s. Article originally published in The International journal of interdisciplinary social sciences, 4:2, pp. 81-98. This version archived on behalf of the author/s and is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought from the publisher to republish or reproduce or for any other purpose.


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