The academic journal on ‘Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking’ has published insights and learnings from a study reviewing ‘the effects of voluntary deposit limit-setting on long-term online gambling expenditure’.
The study undertaken by the research team of Michael Auer, Niklas Hopfgartner and Mark D. Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University) evaluates the efficiency of responsible gambling tools in which customers set predetermined amounts on the money they wish to spend (per day/week/month) on gambling.
The research was sourced from an anonymised data-set of 49,500 players’ (90% Male/10% Female) wagering across Kindred Plc’s online gambling portfolio, with engagements recorded over a period of one year.
The study was established with the primary aim of examining whether voluntary player limits (an independent variable) had any impact on player gambling expenditure recorded over the period (the dependent variable).
“The primary goal of this study was to examine the effects of voluntary limit-setting on long-term behavioural change in relation to monetary gambling expenditure based on real-world data,” it explained. “Very few studies have investigated the effects of limit-setting with real-world gamblers, and the majority of previous studies were laboratory-based.”
A secondary aim was to examine related differences in gambling expenditure by gender, age or ‘gambling intensity’ – a term defined as the total amount of money wagered during a 3-month period.
“If voluntary limit-setting is to be classed as being effective, it should prevent overspending among the most gambling-intense players,” added the study as a key point.
In its research, the study demonstrated that there were no significant differences in expenditure with regards to age or gender. However, amongst gambling-intense players who had opted to set limits, the study recorded that the players would spend significantly less money on gambling over the year recorded, compared to players who had not.
The study read: “Given that those individuals with the highest gambling intensity are more likely to comprise problem gamblers, limit-setting appears to be an effective responsible gambling tool because the top 10 percent of most gambling-intense individuals in this study significantly reduced their gambling expenditure over a 1-year period.”
Further findings detail that the players who voluntarily set spending limits tended to be more loyal to the operator one year later. The research indicates that gambling operators can simultaneously help the most gambling-intensive players to ‘keep control of their expenditure and retain more of them as repeat long-term customer’.
The study acknowledges the possible limitations of its research, as well as the potential impact of external influences, for example the player sample being recorded across seven different countries with varying emphasis on promoting responsible gambling measures.