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Experiences of responsible gambling tools among non-problem gamblers: A survey of active customers of an online gambling platform
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology. Stockholm County Council, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3061-501X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology. University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
2019 (English)In: Addictive Behaviors Reports, ISSN 2352-8532, E-ISSN 2076-3387, Vol. 9, article id 100161Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Responsible gambling (RG) tools, aiming at helping gamblers to avoid gambling-related harms, are common in online gambling platforms. Gambling industry, policy makers, and researchers have warned that RG tools can potentially disturb recreational gamblers, channeling them to less protective operators. No evidence exists to support these concerns, and they can hinder the development of effective RG tools. The current study aimed to investigate the recreational gamblers' experiences of RG tools.

Methods: A total of 10,200 active customers of an online gambling service were invited to complete an online survey and rate their overall reactions, attitudes, disturbance and irritation towards RG tools, as well as their inclination to abandon a gambling service due to overexposure to RG tools. N = 1223 surveys were completed.

Results: Non-problem gamblers had positive experiences of RG tools. Moderate-risk gamblers had more positive overall reaction and less irritation to previous experiences of RG tools compared to non-problem gamblers. Problem gamblers had least positive attitudes, most disturbance and most irritation towards RG pictures. Non-problem gamblers had lowest rates of having abandoned a service because of perceived overexposure to RG tools (5.2% compared to 25.9% of problem gamblers), with a significant between-group difference (OR [95%CI] = 7.17 [3.61–14.23], p < .001).

Conclusions: Non-problem gamblers were not particularly disturbed by RG tools and were not at risk of abandoning online gambling services because of overexposure to RG tools. The study found no grounds for limiting the design and implementation of RG tools due to fears of disturbing recreational gamblers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 9, article id 100161
Keywords [en]
recreational gamblers, problem gambling, responsible gambling, attitudes, online gambling, consumer protection
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171268DOI: 10.1016/j.abrep.2019.100161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171268DiVA, id: diva2:1340458
Available from: 2019-08-05 Created: 2019-08-05 Last updated: 2019-12-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Responsible provision of online gambling: Effects, usability and gamblers’ experiences of protective measures implemented in online gambling environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Responsible provision of online gambling: Effects, usability and gamblers’ experiences of protective measures implemented in online gambling environments
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Problem gambling is considered a public health problem in many countries and is associated with serious financial and health-related harms for both problem gamblers and significant others. It is possible to create gambling environments that would promote sustainable gambling behaviors and prevent excessive gambling. However, research on the effectiveness of tools for responsible provision of gambling is scarce and the quality of the research is low. Also, there exists a conflict of interest between making a profit when providing gambling and protecting vulnerable customers. The general aim of the project was to study the effects, usability and gamblers’ experiences of tools for responsible provision of online gambling. Study I evaluated the effects of a prompt to set voluntary deposit-limit of optional size among 4,328 customers of an online gambling platform. During the data collection period, all customers from Finland registering an account on the gambling platform were randomized into being prompted to set a deposit-limit either 1) at-registration, 2) before their first deposit, 3) after their first deposit or 4) to an unprompted control group. Gambling intensity, measured with aggregated net loss, was tracked during 90 days after registration. No differences in gambling intensity between the intervention and control groups were found neither on the whole-group level (B (95% CI) =-0.080 (-0.229-0.069), p=.291), nor in the subgroup of the most involved gamblers (B (95% CI) =0.042(-0.359-0.442), p=.838). Study II aimed at predicting gaming freeze (as a proxy parameter for problem gambling) in online gamblers. For the sample of N=2,618 (N=1,309 freezers), a total of 105 predictors were created based on the data tracked by the gambling platform. The analysis was carried out using the machine learning method Random Forest. The predictive accuracy of the model applied to the dataset was 0.615, with a specificity of 0.686 and a sensitivity of 0.543. Study III aimed at investigating non-problem gamblers’ experiences of protective measures. A total of N=10,200 active customers of an online gambling platform were asked to rate their previous experiences of protective tools, their inclination to abandon a gambling service due to perceived overexposure to protective measures and answer questions on their symptoms of problem gambling. N=1,223 responded to the questionnaire, with the majority of the sample being moderate-risk gamblers (38.5%), followed by low-risk gamblers (26.8%), non-problem gamblers (18.9%) and problem gamblers (15.8%). In general, non-problem gamblers were not more disturbed by protective measures than other categories of gamblers. More problem gamblers have previously abandoned a gambling service due to perceived overexposure to protective measures compared to non-problem gamblers (OR(95% CI)= 7.17(3.61-14.23), p<.001). In conclusion, a prompt to set a voluntary deposit-limit of optional size did not appear to be effective in decreasing gambling intensity in online gamblers, indicating the need of evaluating alternative designs. Predicting gaming freezes in the current project resulted in a low accuracy, indicating that gaming freeze is not suitable as a proxy measurement for problem gambling and suggesting the need for collecting subjective data on symptoms of problem gambling. The results of Study III suggest that protective measures can be tested and implemented without the risk of disturbing recreational gamblers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2020. p. 74
Keywords
Problem gambling, responsible gambling, responsible provision of gambling, deposit limit, prediction of gambling problems, experiences of responsible gambling tools, attitudes towards responsible gambling tools, online gambling
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176230 (URN)978-91-7797-921-0 (ISBN)978-91-7797-922-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-01-13, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript.

Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-11-27 Last updated: 2019-12-06Bibliographically approved

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