International Gambling Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2,
ABSTRACT Current academic and popular debate on gambling rarely focuses on the ethics of gambling, but concentrates on narrower questions of social impact. This article suggests a philosophical foundation for the ethical provision of gambling services. It argues from a moral realist base while paying close attention to the concrete facts of present policy and practice. The article identifies certain objectively good reasons for gambling. Having established gambling is not wrong per se, it advances generic principles that gamblers and gambling providers should follow in order to act ethically. From these generic principles are derived applied principles from which, in turn, operational norms for actual gambling businesses can be articulated. The article concludes that gambling can be offered and chosen in ethically acceptable ways, but that this will require a major shift in self-conception by the gambling industry.