Study shows BGC “Take Time To Think” slogan has no effect on betting
The study was carried out by the University of Warwick.
UK.- A study carried out by the University of Warwick has questioned the effectiveness of the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) Take Time To Think slogan. The study found that the responsible gambling message, which was launched in October 2021, has no effect on betting behaviours.
The study was based on a randomised online experiment. Researchers created an online game and gave the 1,500 participants a £5 bonus. Participants did not have to gamble – they could keep the £5, but only 579 (25.4 per cent) chose not to gamble. The participants were divided into three groups, each group playing the game under different conditions.
One group played with the Take Time To Think slogan displayed in the background, another group played with the slogan in the background and also a pop-up window that they had to close to continue playing. The third group played the game with no slogan.
Some 13,590 spins were made in the experiment, and the researchers concluded that the inclusion of the slogan had “no credible effects”. The researchers considered susceptibility, including the number of spins and whether the individuals would normally play casino games.
Associate professor of psychology Lukasz Walasek said: “The messaging had little to no effect on people’s gambling behaviour. The study did not reliably change the amount people bet, and it certainly didn’t have the intended effect of reducing the time spent gambling.
“Whether or not they received the message, people spent similar amounts of time placing each bet, made similar numbers of roulette spins, and played for a similar length of time overall.”
Professor Elliot Ludvig said the safer gambling message needed to be stronger, and needs to be tested correctly to ensure maximum impact.
He said: “If the industry is to be successful at preventing gambling harm, awareness messaging should be strongly worded, but independently developed, tested and validated in order to better inform and educate people about gambling and its risks.
“There’s a clear formula on alcohol labels for example, that outlines how someone can moderate their alcohol intake. On tobacco labels, the warning is very stark.
“Safer gambling messages could take on a similar format. It should be obvious how gambling addiction can take hold of people. Clearer messaging would also create greater transparency around certain games, and how the wider industry works.”