GambleAware research questions deposit limits, although several factors at play

By Sehaj Dhillon

GambleAware has published its latest report to encourage gambling companies to implement safer gambling tools.  

The research was commissioned as part of “phase 2 of GambleAware’s ongoing Remote Interventions programme;” phase 1 dealt with behavioural design flaws in how safer gambling tools are offered to users.  

GambleAware says its overall aim was to produce evidence and insights into ways in which online gambling operators can reduce “risky gambling behaviour." 

The recent study approached 23,592 bet365 customers that did not have deposit limits on their account.  

Each customer received a prompt, asking them to set a deposit limit. These prompts included pop-up messages appearing on their screen when customers logged in to their accounts.  

The charity found that out of the 23,592 customers who received a prompt, only 861 or 3.6% actually set a deposit limit.  

The organisation feels asking customers to think about setting a limit may have triggered an “aversive emotional response.”  

It also found that those who set limits were likely to be male, were older and deposited significantly more, 30 days before the trial started.  

GambleAware said: “The interventions we trialled led to lower uptake of deposit limits, suggesting the intervention had a backfire effect within the context of the trial.  

“There may be a number of causes including that the commitment functionality added friction, or there were other discouraging factors to the process of setting a deposit limit.” 

GambleAware added that the question remains as to whether deposit limits are an effective way of helping customers control their gambling.

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