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Australian study: Emphasising positive messages and betting limits helps

CQUniversity in Australia has conducted a study that has found positive messages to be helpful in managing online gambling.

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The study, funded by Gambling Research Australia (GRA), is based on the theory that online gambling puts participants at a higher risk of gambling harm compared to traditional consumers.

More than 2,000 regular sports and race consumers were exposed to randomised messages over a five-week period. During that time, researchers measured the amounts the users would bet, the time they spent betting and the overall gambling harms experienced.

According to the participants, positive messages on how to control money spent on gambling were considered the most helpful and easy to understand.

Research Leader Professor Mathew Rockloff said participants reduced the money and time spent on gambling over the five-week course of their participation.

The study contained 27 messages that were developed by the research team, in consultation with focus groups composed of researchers, gambling-treatment providers and regulators.

Another study also funded by GRA found that consumers are not always prompted to use the betting limit option.

Out of over 3,000 regular race and sports bettors, only 41% said they had set a deposit limit and more than half of the surveyed people considered themselves “unlikely” to set one.

Across a four-week trial, a series of tailored messages about bet limits were sent to over 1,200 regular consumers. At the end of the four weeks, 32% of the users had set at least one type of limit.

Since mid-2019, Australian operators have been required to let consumers set deposit limits for their online gambling and to constantly remind users about setting up or reviewing their limits.

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