RGT commissions Sophro to conduct research on causes of harm in online gambling

sophoroThe Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has announced that Sophro Ltd has been commissioned to complete a study of online gambling behaviour which will investigate the causes of harm in online gambling.

The research is the third strand to be announced from the independent gambling charity’s £750,000 eighteen-month programme of research into remote gambling.

In contrast to “big data” research projects which have recently been commissioned by RGT, Dr Jonathan Parke from Sophro Ltd, along with Dr Adrian Parke and Dr Heather Wardle will adopt a qualitative approach using a combination of behavioural and interview data.

This project will look at a smaller number of participants in greater depth. Researchers expect to be able to identify behavioural processes relevant to understanding problem gambling behaviour and recommend appropriate responsible gambling interactions to promote improved commercial, regulatory or clinical responses to problem gambling.

The Responsible Gambling Trust has reached agreement with online gambling operator Unibet that they will collaborate with Sophro Ltd to provide access to industry data. Researchers will study customer data from Unibet’s online bingo, casino, sports betting and poker products. A final report is expected in autumn 2016.

Marc Etches, Chief Executive of the Responsible Gambling Trust, said:

“RGT is committed to minimising gambling-related harm and research projects like the one we have commissioned Sophro Ltd to undertake is innovative and will contribute to our knowledge of player behaviour and of effective responsible gambling interventions. We are delighted that Unibet has agreed to provide access to the player data necessary to make this research possible.”

Dr Jonathan Parke, Sophro said:

“We are pleased to be working with RGT and Unibet on this exciting project designed to enhance understanding of how to minimise risk in remote gambling. In an innovative approach to researching player data we will be using qualitative techniques to analyse real gambling behaviour; moving beyond description and towards explanatory understandings of remote gambling processes associated with harm. This project will contribute to the groundwork for more effective harm minimisation in remote gambling.”

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