Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are gaining more traction than ever before, with the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recovery plans and the UN’s COP26 conference accelerating demand for a more sustainable approach towards business. It is no longer enough for companies to simply generate profits – they must also demonstrate their commitment to people and the planet.
One industry that is emerging as a surprising ESG trailblazer is gaming. The gaming and betting sector’s reputation has been questioned in the past due to concerns about addiction, underage play and a lack of diversity. However, in recent years the industry has taken clear steps to drive positive change and incorporate increased social responsibility and governance into its day-to-day operations.
From investing in addiction prevention and treatment to putting the systems and processes in place to ensure higher governance standards, the sector is embracing a commitment to ESG transformation.
A report published in December 2021 highlights the contribution that the betting and gaming industry makes to communities, the economy and sport. These companies are responsible for creating thousands of jobs and raising millions of dollars for good causes, including funds for local communities, sports clubs and a wide range of charities, from cancer research to disability and mental health organisations.
Beyond this, the gaming industry has cultivated an increasingly generous, inclusive and engaged community – a community that is itself donating to charitable causes in unexpected and innovative ways. Amazon’s popular livestreaming platform Twitch has provided a platform for gamers to come together and truly game for good, collectively raising over $83 million in 2020 alone.
The gaming industry’s core demographic gives it great potential as a champion for ESG issues. Millennials and Gen Zers make up the majority of its audience, and studies show that these age groups are far more likely to stand behind sustainability and social causes than previous generations. This is important, because millennials and Gen Zers are helping to bring about positive change in the direction and vision of the gaming sector.
Another factor that sets the industry apart in ESG matters is its ability to change with the times. The gaming sector has historically been exceptionally good at responding to user demands. It is an industry that is forever morphing, with the rapid development of technology underlining how it has needed to continually improve to stay ahead of the curve. As a forward-looking sector, it is therefore unsurprising that the gaming and betting industry is keen to be at the forefront of the ESG transition.
Roman Semiokhin is a prime example of an individual within the industry who has embraced ESG practices and social responsibility. A successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, Roman has donated millions to both the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevention of wildfires in countries including Cyprus and Russia. He has also donated generously to causes such as improving education, advancing medicine and supporting agriculture. It is this outward-looking, proactive mindset that can help the gaming and betting industry forge ahead on ESG matters.