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Ethical Gambling Forum 2024

The Ethical Gambling Forum 2024 was held at the Sunborn Hotel, Gibraltar, last week attended by gambling operators and service providers to the gambling industry with a focus on tackling sustainability and safety in gambling. 

I appeared on the morning of the first day of the conference on a panel entitled  “Sustainability & the Gambling Industry: How to preserve your company’s customer base and income streams in the modern world”. The panel, moderated by  Adrian Sladdin and comprising my fellow panelists Tina Thakor-Rankin (All-In Diversity Project), Simon Vincze (Casino Guru) and Pedro Romero (BetBlocker) discussed both the opportunities arising from placing sustainability high on a business’ agenda, but also the risks involved in not doing so. In particular, that businesses which fail to become sustainable can suffer reputational damage, struggle to obtain financing or investment, particularly from institutional investors, and increasingly face litigation risks due to the upward trend of class action in this area. 

On the second day of the conference, my colleague, Andrew Montegriffo, participated on a panel entitled “Mergers & Acquisitions – Where’s The Risk?” – alongside Andrew Lyman (the Gambling Commissioner) and Eran Shay (Benefit Gibraltar), moderated by Neil Tyson

In the afternoon, there were a number of breakout sessions, and I was delighted to participate on the panel called “Greenwashing and Environmental Risks” together with Claudia Martans, an Environmental Lawyer, and Susanne Winterstein Smith, Facilities Manager at BV Group. We discussed the hot topic in ESG in 2024 - the future of sustainability reporting, and the consequences of greenwashing or providing misleading statements in such reports, including expensive fines from authorities and regulators, and reputational damage. 

The EU has introduced The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) which will apply to large and listed companies operating in the EU, requiring them to share details on how they monitor a wide range of ESG issues. The UK has followed suite with its own UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards which will be based on the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards.

Companies like gambling operators which have cross jurisdictional operations will therefore need to get to grips with measuring and reporting on a number of ESG-related issues, covering energy use, gender equality, social impact and procurement. 

Gibraltar law does not currently require any sustainability reporting, but given many Gibraltar based businesses will operate in the UK or the EU, this remains relevant. 

Our Environment Team will be happy to assist with any queries as corporations navigate this step towards a greener, more ethical business world. 

 

Gambling operators which have cross jurisdictional operations will need to get to grips with measuring and reporting on a number of ESG-related issues

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