‘In Control: How to support safer gambling using a behaviour change approach’
Senet Group, the UK responsible gambling body, has published a qualitative independent research report which examines gambling behaviours in the context of personal control.
The research sets out the elements required for a behaviour change approach to tackling problem gambling, where an understanding of why and how people behave as they do can help to identify opportunities to influence and change behaviour for the better.
Conducted by independent agency Revealing Reality, the research reveals that regardless of their risk profile, all gamblers want to stay in control and that this control is critical to their enjoyment of gambling. As a result, people set boundaries to their gambling which they look to maintain through a variety of formal and informal management strategies. The challenge for gambling operators is to help and support gamblers in setting and adhering to these boundaries, by both reinforcing their motivation to stay in control but also by providing the tools to make it easier.
Commenting on the research, Gillian Wilmot, Chairman of the Senet Group, said: “This research report provides some practical insights into how people manage their gambling on a day to day basis, and how the gambling industry might support their enjoyment of gambling by helping them stay in control.
“The gambling industry can do a great deal more to develop and promote tools and techniques which assist gamblers in understanding the positive benefits of control, but more importantly how they can keep track of their gambling, whether that’s through the amount they are spending or the time they devote to playing. In this we can look to other sectors, such as health and wellness, for recent examples where consumer access to more and more information about their own patterns of behaviour, is helping people make better choices.
“This research will now inform the next generation of Senet’s player messaging campaign, When the Fun Stops, Stop, which sought to put an understanding of customers at the heart of efforts to raise standards. This campaign has now reached an estimated 82% of regular gamblers since its launch, and was itself born out of research which revealed a link between negative emotional states and the impairment of control when gambling.”
Also commenting on the research, Damon De Ionno, Managing Director of Revealing Reality, said: “For a long time, gambling industry operators have been asking what they can do to help people gamble more safely and responsibly.
“Our research has deliberately focused on people’s behaviours in real-life gambling situations. What we have found is that people struggle to gamble safely unless they are in control while they are gambling.
“This research provides a clear summary and examples of many ways that operators can actively help their customers stay in control of their gambling – and make sure they don’t undermine their attempts to do so.”
The ‘In Control’ research report was produced by Revealing Reality, an independent agency specialising in research that specifically identifies ways to help people change behaviour for the better. It employed a combination of ethnographic interviews and shadowed observation of 25 participants, selected by PGSI scores to be representative of the low, medium and high-risk gambling categories. The sample was also recruited to reflect a variety of demographic backgrounds, including a spread of age, gender, ethnicity and employment status. Participants lived across England, Scotland and Wales, and more detail about them is available in the report.