All Bets are Off: Reflecting Critically on Gambling Regulation Within and Across Borders

23 rd June 2016 08:00 am

This two day event at the University of Kent in Canterbury will showcase work that explores how diverse forms of gambling are regulated. The event will provide a forum for innovative, international, and interdisciplinary discussions on gambling regulation. Through the workshop, the event intends to contribute to ongoing debate in the social sciences and humanities about what can be learnt from gambling – and its edges and boundaries – in our broader studies of social, political, and economic life.

Firstly, the event will seek to de-centre the Las Vegas casino in our academic, legal, and policy accounts, by asking what we can learn from the regulation of other gambling forms, in other places. Acknowledging that gambling is oriented to diverse social, political, and economic ends, including to redistribute resources collectively; bond with others through play; make a profit; win a prize; raise money for good causes; secure family life; and escape daily worries, researchers invite work that explores all forms of gambling, past, present, and nascent, in all spaces and places. From pub dominoes to fantasy leagues, greyhounds to Super G ball specials, la Lotería (Mexicana) to la Lotería Nacional (de España) – there is room for them all, and more besides. Research is also welcomed exploring why and how some forms of speculation, fundraising, insurance, investment, consumption, play, and entertainment are designated as gambling, and others are not.

Secondly, the event aims to develop insights into the plural forms of governance and regulation engaged by these diverse gambling activities, sites, and premises. Researchers ask what role is played by norms, rules, policies, industry standards, codes of practice, laws, and court judgements in shaping gambling, within and across borders. Researchers are interested in diverse levels and types of law (e.g. municipal licensing, and the forging of supra-national standards by private and public actors); and in plural forms of rule-making (e.g. the rules operative in unlicensed or ‘grey’ spaces; the policy objectives of responsible gambling).

Sub-themes for the event include, but are not restricted to:
- Gambling regulation and colonialism
- Regulating responsibility and the juridification of harm prevention
- Charities, non-profits, and mutual aid practices in gambling
- Premises control and the places of gambling
- Game definition: multi-levelled rules on game mechanics
- Gender, class, and race in gambling regulation
- Trends in transnational law and regulation
- The role of regulation in the standardization of play across and within borders
- Critical perspectives on licensing, and the governance of the everyday
- The respectable others: how non-gambling activities are separated out
- Corruption, crime and gambling: who needs casinos?

Registration for the free event is now open and is via