Online gaming is all about playing the odds and having fun. Of course, it’s hard to ignore the money you can win playing poker, slots, and table games. However, at its core, the industry is built on entertainment. That’s why it’s popular. Today, online gambling is worth $50 billion and has a global reputation. As is the case in all burgeoning industries, size and stature come with a certain amount of responsibility. In online gaming, there are regulatory responsibilities that all licensed operators have to abide by. But, alongside these legal obligations, gaming companies also have a degree of social responsibility.
Like any person or entity in a privileged position, online gaming has a certain moral obligation to support those less fortunate. Just as Amazon or Facebook will host charity events, betting companies have developed a benevolent streak in recent years.
Indeed, when you look at the industry’s charitable efforts, it’s clear to see that winning isn’t everything. Perhaps the best example of this in recent times was the CasinoGround 24-hour charity stream, set up by Kim ‘LetsGiveItASpin’ Hultman, taking place from April 11 to April 12.
A Stream of Benevolence
The stream was initially designed to raise money for suicide prevention. However, with the world gripped by COVID-19, Hultman flipped the script. The WHO Response Fund quickly became the new beneficiary of the event and the proceeds went to those hit by the global pandemic. As well as raising money, the stream was a chance to have some fun. Hultman engaged in a variety of whacky stunts and, in the end, raised €47,715/$51,611 for charity.
That event was the latest in a long series of fundraisers devised by the betting and gaming community. By far the most famous event to-date is the Big One for One Drop. Organized by Guy Laliberte and the One Drop Foundation, the biennial poker tournament costs $1 million to enter. For buy-in that’s collected, $111,111 goes to Laliberte’s One Drop Foundation. This money supports clean drinking water initiatives in impoverished regions. Moreover, with such a hefty price tag, the tournament also attracts mainstream media interest. That, in turn, raises the profile of One Drop. Since the first event in 2012, smaller versions have been created and that has seen the poker community raise millions for One Drop.
The Charitable Face of Betting and Gaming
Those are just two examples of how betting and gaming is as much about giving back as winning. Outside of what can be classed as “regular” players doing their bit, celebrities have also used the industry as a means to raise money for others. Charity casino nights and poker tournaments are common in Hollywood and beyond. In Australia, former cricketer Shane Warne hosted an event in 2019, while famous faces got together in LA to play poker and raise money for fallen LAPD officers.
Wherever you look in the industry, there’s always someone doing something good. Whether it’s helping those affected by a global pandemic, supporting clean water initiatives, or something else, the community is full of benevolence. That’s not only a positive in itself but is also great for the industry’s image. By continuing to support charities of all types, betting and gaming companies are demonstrating that the name of the game should always be fun and not about taking advantage of others.