UK study finds flexible igaming deposit limits more effective

Players imposed lower limits on igaming deposits when given the flexibility to choose.
Players imposed lower limits on igaming deposits when given the flexibility to choose.

A study from GambleAware finds that customers are more likely to apply limits on igaming when they are more flexible.

UK.- A new study has found that allowing customers to set their own limits on igaming spending is more effective than offering set options for deposit limits.

The study commissioned by GambleAware found that the flexibility to choose any limit led players to opt for stricter curbs on igaming spending than when they had to select from a list of fixed options.

Conducted by the research company the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the study tested different deposit limit settings for bet365 customers.

Players that had not already set deposit limits were sent messaged reminding them to do so. The 1,731 customers that followed the prompt were then shown three different versions of the page where they could set their deposit limits

It directed 604 customers to bet365’s standard page, which has a dropdown menu allowing limits to be set in denominations from £5 to £100,000, as well as the option to continue gambling without a limit. 

Meanwhile, 571 customers were shown a range of deposit limits up to £250, plus the option of no limit. 

Finally, the remaining 556 customers were shown a text box in which they could enter any deposit limit they chose. 

The study found that the players who were shown the operator’s standard deposit limit options tended to allow themselves more room to spend, imposing a median limit of £14.30 per day.

Those in the second group that had the option to set a limit of up to £250 set a median deposit limit of £8.30. The final group that could set any limit entered a median limit of £7.10, half that of the first group.

Mean limits were much higher in all three groups but followed something of similar trend: £1,601.10 for the first group, £230.81 for the second group and £308.78 for the last group, which BIT said was due to outliers.

As a result the BIT has recommended that all igaming operators allow customers the freedom to set deposit limits using the open text box format.

It recommended that the British Gambling Commission introduce the format as a requirement in its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

The report said: “In place of LCCP provisions we alternatively recommend that the Gambling Commission regularly updates the public regarding which operators have yet to remove high anchors from their tools.

“This approach would not only address recent calls on the Commission to utilise reputational incentives, but also give the industry scope to demonstrate proactive progress in lieu of active regulation.”

It added that more research was needed: “Much more work is needed to test robustly and independently the impacts of various facets of online gambling using randomised controlled trials in live business environments. 

“Only then will robust, independent evidence exist to inform policies, practices and procedures.”

Gamble Aware has appointed a new CEO, Zoë Osmond, to replace Marc Etches.

The responsible gambling charity has received £4.5m in donations from gaming operators in the first three quarters of the 2020-21 financial year

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