17 Feb 2017
An increasing body of work has identified ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) as an institution, and has suggested that its institutionalised form may be deployed to pursue traditional business imperatives and avoid burdensome legislation. This article will examine how responsible gambling is understood in Macao’s gambling industry and why firms in Macao’s gambling industry engage in responsible gambling (RG). This study is primarily based on an in-depth examination and analysis of Macao’s gambling industry with 49 semi-structured interviews. This study gives an account of the ‘responsible gambling’ practised in the gambling industry in Macao to show that gambling companies make use of the institutionalized (unstated) characteristics of CSR to leverage political and economic privileges. Responsible gambling is presented as the central component of CSR, articulated through varied stakeholders, while responsible gambling in practice focuses symbolically and solely on employee protection. The study shows that gambling companies derive substantial legitimacy benefits from the institution of CSR, thus positioned.