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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00084-3

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The impact of pop-up warning messages of losses on expenditure in a simulated game of online roulette: a pilot study [open-access article].

Abstract
Background
‘Pop-up’ warning messages have potential as a Responsible Gambling tool, but many warning messages in the literature are generic. The present study simulated digital roulette to compare the effectiveness of expenditure-specific, generic and control messages, during online roulette.

Methods
Forty-five casual gamblers participated in a laboratory setting. Gambles were ‘rigged’ such that participants suffered a net loss. Total ‘play money’ wagers from individual bets after the presentation of the messages were measured.

Results
Expenditure-specific warning messages demonstrated significant reductions in wager amounts compared with other message types – Generic (p = .035) and Control messages (p < .001). No significant differences were found between Generic and Control messages (p > .05). Thus expenditure-specific warning messages about current losses were more effective than generic messages for reducing expenditure.

Conclusions
Expenditure-specific warning messages exhibit potential for ameliorating potentially harmful gambling behaviour. Expenditure-specific messages should be tested in a broader range of gambling contexts to examine their generalizability and potential for implementation in the gambling industry. Article available online

Reference: McGivern, P., et al. (2019). The impact of pop-up warning messages of losses on expenditure in a simulated game of online roulette: a pilot study. BMC Public Health 19:822. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7191-5

Deposit limit prompt in online gambling for reducing gambling intensity: A randomized controlled trial – open access online article.

Introduction: Pre-commitment tools – allowing users of gambling services to pre-set a limit for how much money they may spend – are relatively common. However, there exist no clear evidence of their effectiveness in preventing gamblers from spending more money than they otherwise planned. The aim of the study was to compare gambling intensity between users of an online gambling service prompted to set a deposit limit and non-prompted customers, both in the whole sample and among most active users based on the total number of gambling days. Prospective customers of a publicly governed gambling operator from Finland were randomized to receive a prompt to set a voluntary deposit limit of optional size either (1) at registration, (2) before or (3) after their first deposit, or (4) to an unprompted control condition.
Data on customers from Finland with online slots as a preferred gambling category (N = 4328) were tracked in the platform for 90 days starting at account registration, gambling intensity being measured with aggregated net loss. The intervention groups did not differ from each other in either proportion of participants with positive net loss or size of positive net loss. The pooled intervention group did not differ from the control group regarding proportion of gamblers with positive net loss (OR = 1.0; p = 0.921) or size of net loss (B = -0.1; p = 0.291).
The intervention groups had higher rates of limit-setters compared to the control condition (ORat-registration/pre-deposit/post-deposit = 11.9/9.2/4.1). Customers who have increased/removed a previously set deposit limit had higher net loss than the limit-setters who have not increased/removed their limit (Bat-registration/pre-deposit/post-deposit/control = 0.7/0.6/1.0/1.3), and unprompted limit-setters lost more than unprompted non-setters (B = 1.0).
Prompting online gamblers to set a voluntary deposit limit of optional size did not affect subsequent net loss compared to unprompted customers, motivating design and evaluation of alternative pre-commitment tools. Setting a deposit limit without a prompt or increasing/removing a previously set limit may be a marker of gambling problems and may be used to identify customers in need of help.
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Reference: Ivanova E., Magnusson K., & Carlbring P. (2019). Deposit limit prompt in online gambling for reducing gambling intensity: A randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Psychology, 10:639. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00639

Consumer perspectives of a multi-venue gambling self-exclusion program: A qualitative process analysis


Available online – from the Journal of Gambling Studies


Abstract: Self-exclusion is an important harm minimization strategy implemented by gambling operators to restrict a problem gambler’s access to gambling opportunities. Aspects of self-exclusion, including low uptake and non-compliance, limit the effectiveness of programs. Research that considers the consumer perspective is needed to enhance the perceived utility of self-exclusion in the target audience. Twenty interviews were conducted with current (n = 13) and former (n = 7) participants of a multi-venue self-exclusion program for land-based gaming machine venues in New South Wales, Australia. Participants were asked open-ended questions about their experiences and opinions of the program, including its strengths and weaknesses, and suggested improvements for future consumers. Overall, participants found self-exclusion beneficial. However, several shortcomings of the program were expressed, including lack of available public information and overly complicated registration processes. Participants lacked confidence in venues’ willingness and ability to identify non-compliant gamblers and highlighted the need for vastly improved detection systems. The quality of interactions with venue staff in relation to self-exclusion were mixed; counsellor support, however, was perceived as important from beginning to end of a self-exclusion period. Results suggest that gambling operators should increase marketing efforts to promote the availability and benefits of self-exclusion. Investigation of strategies to streamline registration processes and to augment detection systems with new technologies was supported. Venue staff may benefit from training in appropriate self-exclusion facilitation procedures. Gambling operators should aim to foster strong links between self-exclusion programs and professional gambling counselling services. Access full article

Reference: Pickering, D., Nong, Z., Gainsbury, S.M. & Blaszczynski, A. (2019). Consumer perspectives of a multi-venue gambling self-exclusion program: A qualitative process analysis. Journal of Gambling Studies, 41.

Responsible gambling in practice: A case study of views and practices of Swedish oriented gambling companies [open access research report]

Abstract: The Swedish gambling market faces a major change in legislation that will allow foreign-based companies to apply for a gambling licence in Sweden. A key element in the new legislation are consumer protection measures. The Swedish gambling market is currently divided between licensed companies and non-Swedish-based companies providing online gambling services without a licence in Sweden. How these companies view their responsibility for preventing gambling-related harm and how prepared they are for the new regulations are important questions regarding the new Swedish gambling market. Access full report

Citation: David Forsström & Jenny Cisneros Örnberg. (2018). Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 1–17. DOI: 10.1177/1455072518802492

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). CGiMagazine.com