An empirical study of the effect of voluntary limit-setting on gamblers’ loyalty using behavioural tracking data [open-access article].

Abstract: Online gambling has become increasingly popular over the past decade as has research using behavioural tracking (player account) data. To date, there is no study that has empirically investigated the effects of responsible gambling tools on loyalty. In the present study, the effect of voluntary limit-setting on player loyalty was evaluated over time using tracking data provided by an online gambling operator. More specifically, the authors were given access to an anonymised dataset of 175,818 players who had placed at least one bet or gambled at least once during January 2016 to May 2017 at the online gambling operator Kindred. The average age of the players was 31 years, and overall 18,484 of the players were female (10.5%). The dataset comprised a 20% random sample of the total player population of Kindred. In each of ten playing intensity groups, the percentage of active players in the first quarter of 2017 was higher in the group of players who had set voluntary money limits in the first quarter of 2016 compared to players that did not (suggesting players that set voluntary spending limits are more loyal compared to those who do not). The implications of these findings are discussed. Article available online

Reference: Auer, M., Hopfgartner, N., & Griffiths, M.D. (2019). An empirical study of the effect of voluntary limit-setting on gamblers’ loyalty using behavioural tracking data. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.


The use of gamification in facilitating the use of responsible gambling tools [open access article]

A recent paper published in Gaming Law Review by Mulligan [1] examined whether ‘gamification’ and ‘responsible gaming’ were “friends or foes” (p.405) yet the most obvious application of gamification in relation to this topic was not even mentioned in the paper, namely, the application of gamification in getting individuals to use responsible gambling tools. The use of gamification techniques in everyday life is now widespread and a few gaming operators have already started to include such techniques as a way of facilitating use of and/or education about responsible gambling tools and practices. Access full article

Griffiths, M.D. (2018). Gaming Law Review, in press.

Limit setting as a responsible gambling tool [open access article]

Over the last couple of years, the gambling industry has identified social responsibility as a major cornerstone of their business (Harris & Griffiths, 2017). The main goal of social responsibility practices in gambling is the application of procedures and tools that help minimize gambling-related harm. Because of its technological infrastructure, researchers have pointed out that many responsible gambling (RG) initiatives may actually be more effective online. Previous research has shown that information technology developments which are helpful in reducing negative consequences associated with gambling are endorsed by regular gamblers (Parke & Griffiths, 2012). Access full article

By Mark Griffiths & Michael Auer. (2018).

Player Behavioral Tracking and Personalized Feedback in Online Gambling: Implications for Prevention and Treatment of Problem Gambling (full text)

Edgerton, J. D., Biegun, J., & Roberts, L. W.

In recent years, participation in online gambling has been growing at a significant rate, as have concerns over its connection to problem gambling. The relationship between online access and problem gambling is complex. On one hand the nature of online gambling appears to invite potential for problematic gambling; on the other hand it is also well-suited to the incorporation of sophisticated RG tools that can help prevent excessive gambling. This article provides a brief overview of research on the efficacy of several increasingly available RG tools – limit-setting, in game “pop-up” messages and player behavioral tracking and personalized feedback – and the potential of these tools, used in concert, to increase gambler’s self-awareness and self-monitoring to reduce risk across a broad spectrum of gambling involvement. In addition to weighing the growing evidence for the preventative utility of such RG strategies, we also consider the burgeoning interest in their therapeutic/clinical potential, both as part of self-guided or therapist-assisted online interventions and as adjunct to conventional in-person clinical services. We conclude that, limitations notwithstanding, the evidence for online RG tools that incorporate player behavioral tracking and personalized feedback is quite encouraging when it comes to reducing problem gambling risk; and that, although less far along, research on the treatment potential of interventions incorporating such technology is also promising and merits further study.

A Critical Review of the Harm-Minimisation Tools Available for Electronic Gambling

The increasing sophistication of gambling products afforded by electronic technologies facilitates increased accessibility to gambling, as well as encouraging rapid and continuous play. This poses several challenges from a responsible gambling perspective, in terms of facilitating player self-awareness and self-control. The same technological advancements in gambling that may facilitate a loss of control may also be used to provide responsible gambling tools and solutions to reduce gambling-related harm. Indeed, several harm-minimisation strategies have been devised that aim to facilitate self-awareness and self-control within a gambling session. Such strategies include the use of breaks in play, ‘pop-up’ messaging, limit setting, and behavioural tracking. The present paper reviews the theoretical argument underpinning the application of specific harm-minimisation tools, as well as providing one of the first critical reviews of the empirical research assessing their efficacy, in terms of influencing gambling cognitions and behaviour.