Senet Group calls for ‘targeted interventions’ to combat problem-gambling

UK responsible gambling body Senet Group believes that more needs to be done to actively reduce gambling-related harm through targeted intervention as discussed in its independent research report which aims at examining gambling behaviours in the wider context of personal control.

The report, entitled ‘In Control: How to support safer gambling using a behaviour change approach’, sets out the criteria required for a behaviour change approach in addressing and tackling problem gambling.

Produced by Revealing Reality, an independent behavioural research-specialist agency, the research employed a combination of ethnographic interviews. It shadowed observations of 25 participants, selected by PGSI scores to be representative of the low, medium and high-risk gambling categories.

It aims to look at where an understanding of why and how people behave as they do can help to identify opportunities to influence and change behaviour for the better.

Chief Executive of the Senet Group, Sarah Hanratty, commented: “At the heart of the project is the belief that successful solutions must empower people to stay in control and that we need to make it easier for them to do so. There is a complex set of factors involved, not least people’s personal lives, game design, stake sizes, gambling environments, peer influences, advertising and marketing.

“The insights from this research will inform the next evolution of Senet’s player messaging, where the results and impact are more clearly defined in specific behaviour change outcomes, and are more measurable as a result.”

Incidents of gambling which left people subsequently felt remorse were often associated with times they felt they had lost control of their gambling behaviour, for example, when they had bet higher sums of money than they had originally intended to, spent longer in betting shops than they had planned or played on machines or online games that they usually avoided.

Commenting on the research, Gillian Wilmot, Chairman of the Senet Group, said: “This research report provides some practical insights into how people manage their gambling on a day to day basis, and how the gambling industry might support their enjoyment of gambling by helping them stay in control.

“The gambling industry can do a great deal more to develop and promote tools and techniques which assist gamblers in understanding the positive benefits of control, but more importantly how they can keep track of their gambling, whether that’s through the amount they are spending or the time they devote to playing.  

“In this we can look to other sectors, such as health and wellness, for recent examples where consumer access to more and more information about their own patterns of behaviour, is helping people make better choices.”

The research has shown that individuals gain much more enjoyment from gambling when they feel as though they are in control of their behaviours. The report, therefore, calls for more responsible gambling initiatives to work from the principle that control ought to be central to their strategies.

Wilmot added: “This research will now inform the next generation of Senet’s player messaging campaign, When the Fun Stops, Stop, which sought to put an understanding of customers at the heart of efforts to raise standards.  

“This campaign has now reached an estimated 82% of regular gamblers since its launch, and was itself born out of research which revealed a link between negative emotional states and the impairment of control when gambling.”

Damon De Ionno, Managing Director of Revealing Reality, added: “For a long time, gambling industry operators have been asking what they can do to help people gamble more safely and responsibly.

“Our research has deliberately focused on people’s behaviours in real-life gambling situations.  What we have found is that people struggle to gamble safely unless they are in control while they are gambling.

“This research provides a clear summary and examples of many ways that operators can actively help their customers stay in control of their gambling – and make sure they don’t undermine their attempts to do so.”

Sarah Hanratty is due to speak at this year’s Betting on Football as part of our Sponsorship Forum. Betting on Football is held 19-22 March and is the only trade conference that brings together decision makers from international operators to address the recent issues and opportunities in the sports betting industry.

Stamford Bridge provides the perfect setting for 200 expert speakers across 40 sessions, including high level business and networking opportunities for key suppliers, top affiliates and sports clubs & organisations to meet with the operators. For more information about the event, please visit https://hubs.ly/H0ghd5S0

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