GambleAware strives for more flexibility on deposit limits
GambleAware has supported new discoveries that have been published by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), asking for more operators to give customers some flexibility in setting up their own custom deposit limits.
A BIT study, conducted on 1,700 bet365 customers, evaluated whether behavioural adjustments on sign-up would influence customers’ playing habits, with a view to supply useful information on reducing player risks. The trial set out to figure out whether current ‘design of deposit limits’ influences players’ gambling behaviours, with the BIT research team determining whether the psychological effects of ‘anchoring’ played a role in player wagering habits once deposit limits were initiated.
bet365 participants were monitored as they signed up to three different deposit limit variants, which are as follows:
- A ‘business as usual’ version, with the current deposit limit setting tool.
- A dropdown menu that exhibited low-value deposit suggestions, with an upper limit of £250 and a text box for customers to freely type a higher amount.
- A ‘blank textbox’ deposit amount and only provided with a text box, to freely type their desired deposit limit.
Once compared against a ‘control group’, BIT’s research revealed that the absence of high deposit limit options approximately halved the average daily deposit limit players set. Of the two deposit interventions offered, BIT found that deposit limits were 46% lower with simply the free text box option and 45% lower when presented with lower deposit suggestions.
Hence, BIT endorsed the fact that operator deposit tools should be displayed as a blank textbox, offering no ‘pre-set values’ for users who should be provided with flexibility when choosing their own personal limits. BIT highlighted that its behavioural analysis could ‘improve the harm-reduction efficacy of deposit limit tools, without constraining choices for the consumer’.
“This report is the culmination of a huge amount of detailed work by the team at BIT,” stated Rosanna Barry, BIT Consumer Markets Principal Advisor. “It shows how seemingly superficial changes to the way that gambling sites offer deposit tools, if implemented across the industry and for all customers, will deliver large benefits to individuals who gamble and society as a whole, without constraining customer choice.”
GambleAware has dished out its discoveries with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), in which BIT said that more research had to be done regarding the ‘anchoring elements’ of gambling. After the BIT study, GambleAware has asked the UKGC for blank textbox deposit limits to be listed as the preferred mechanism of its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
Tim Miller, Executive Director of Research and Policy at the Gambling Commission, responded by saying:
“This is an important study that uses experiences from real consumers to find what actually works to reduce the harms that can come from gambling. Importantly, it provides practical options for how gambling operators can strengthen the tools they provide to protect consumers from harm. These are also issues we are seeking responses on through our remote customer interaction consultation and call for evidence, which closes next month.”