Spot The Spin: iGaming industry news's multiple voices

11 June 2014 By Alastair Cleland

1472 Original

​Media is notoriously subjective. In iGaming, knowing who's telling the news can be critical.

iGaming is well served by its industry press and there are a number of publications offering news and analysis on topical trends and events. But with each publication offering its own take, it can be difficult to gauge the complete picture. So what are you to take away on an issue when there are multiple stories on it written in completely different tones?

A recent recommendation published by the European Commission on the issue of gambling protection and authorisation is one such story that has featured heavily in industry press lately. The Commission’s recommendation document promotes the common protection of consumers using online gambling services in the EU and outlines the practical ways in which Member States will be allowed to implement consumer protection measures. In response, the European Gaming and Betting Association has published an article on its own website fully endorsing the publication.

However, various iGaming and general news sites have published articles on the recommendation and all offer their own view. For example, two such articles found on sites relating specifically to iGaming news tell slightly different tales.

One such article takes the view that the European Commission is avidly against online gambling; inferring that compulsive gambling is a likely outcome of playing online. The references it includes to cigarette packet type-warnings and specific bans that the Commission wants to put in place suggest the body is opposed to all kinds of online gambling. In a different article on the same topic however, the Commission is not represented in quite the same light. The body’s support for a regulated industry is implied throughout the article, particularly where it focuses on the Commission’s proposed role in providing assurance to consumers who use authorised gambling. The common principles of gambling operators are also mentioned, as the EC appears to be much more supportive of their sites.

Websites reporting on more general news also published their own version of events. One article offered some interesting opinions on the EC’s Recommendation document, claiming that there is no information available on issues such as safeguards for clients’ money. It also suggests that the European Commission is slow in the way it operates and therefore will not be enforcing their proposed recommendations anytime soon.

These articles highlight that there are a myriad of viewpoints to take on an issue and there is definitely no right or wrong way to do it. What is interesting however is how the reader can interpret a story in a number of different ways, according to the way in which it is written. Sites like the Pentasia News Centre display stories from multiple publications on the same subject, all in one place and help present an overall view. Each article such as the ones above will always have valid points to take away but the question remains; how many stories does it take to form an opinion?