As a long time resident of Malta, the iGaming industry has become a normal part of my life. Most people I know work within this industry, and in my everyday life, I rarely come into contact with people who don’t. However, when traveling abroad, I avoid saying anything about casinos when I tell new people that I meet what I do. “I write web content” is usually just the answer I give, and unless they insist on knowing more, I don’t offer up the information that it’s for the iGaming industry. Outright saying that I promote online gambling for a living will, for sure, raise some eyebrows since most people do consider it immoral. Like most other people I know, I think of myself as a person guided by a moral compass in life, so what is the moral justification for promoting gambling and online casinos?
Of course, there is no one universal answer to this, and everyone working within this industry will have to figure this out on their own. “The casino I work at is one of the good ones,” “we’re not forcing anyone to gamble,” “someone will do the job, so if I don’t do it then someone else will,” or even “I work at a casino, but I’m working with aspects other than marketing or anything related to promoting the casino” are perhaps the most common justifications I hear when discussing this matter with friends within the industry. My own justification? Well, that can’t be wrapped up in only one sentence.
Basically, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to say that I’m making a living out of other people’s misery.
Even though I have been writing for online casinos, most of the work I do is for affiliate sites. I’ve written reviews of casinos, game guides, news articles, blog posts, and basically anything that is in any way related to online gambling. In other words, if you google almost any term related to online casinos or gambling, you’ll find an article written by me. Mostly ghostwritten or without a byline, but still – under my own name or not, I’ve made a career out of getting people to sign up to new casinos so they can gamble. The more they gamble, the more need there will be for my services, and in that way, I make more money. Basically, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to say that I’m making a living out of other people’s misery.
So is it even possible for me to justify this to myself? Do I feel guilty? Do I have problems looking at myself in the mirror or have a hard time sleeping at night when I consider how I make my money? No. I don’t have problems sleeping at night, I don’t feel guilty, and honestly – to me, this is just a job like any other.
Will there come a time when I can tell people I meet exactly what I do for a living and not see a disapproving look in their eyes?
In what feels like a past life, I used to work in a store. We used to joke that the job was to “make people buy things they don’t need, for more money than they can afford to spend.” How is that any better? Yet, no one ever criticized me for that. One might argue that gambling addiction is a serious problem, but many people are addicted to shopping as well. Not to mention the environmental issues arising from the production of the items shops sell. Are those not also big problems? And what about people working in bars knowing what alcohol does to the body and all the alcoholics in the world? Or banks marketing credit cards and personal loans plunging people into an economic crisis? Is that not equally bad?
In a capitalistic world, such as the one we live in, there will always be a question of how morally acceptable a job is, and some people would never want to be involved in anything they don’t feel is on the up-and-up. But, the fact remains that many people do work in jobs that are in some way harmful to others, be it the consumer or the ones actually creating the products. Online casino marketing is all about selling a product, it’s just that this product is still more or less new, and people just aren’t used to this line of work and product yet – other than in Malta, of course. So is it perhaps just a question of time before people get a different view of the iGaming industry? Are people uneasy because this is a “new” industry and one that most people around the world know too little about, or is it as bad as people think? Will there come a time when I can tell people I meet exactly what I do for a living and not see a disapproving look in their eyes?
I don’t know. One thing I do know, though, is that I no longer care. People can think, feel, and say what they want about what I do. I love my job, so why shouldn’t I do it? I honestly don’t feel it’s any worse than any other job. I don’t write fake reviews, I don’t recommend or “sell” casinos I don’t think are good, and I pride myself on providing factually correct and objective information. If a casino is bad, I’ll say so, and as long as I keep on doing that, I’ll have a clear conscience. It’s also worth mentioning that I probably follow the industry closer than most, so I know what casinos and gambling authorities (at least the good ones) actually do to help prevent gambling addiction. How people who have been unfortunate enough to end up with bad gambling habits can get help is also a topic I always make sure to cover in-depth on any affiliate site I’m working on, as I do want to promote responsible gambling.
If people still object to the morality of what I do – then so be it.
I can’t speak for anyone else’s moral justifications for working within the iGaming industry, but I, for one, don’t see any issues with this anymore. This is also why I decided to start a blog. No more hiding behind pen names or simply not putting a name on my work. Now my name will be connected to iGaming as long as Google exists, and I’m finally totally okay with that. I refuse to be ashamed of what I do!