GambleAware confirms deposit flexibility is the key to responsible gambling

Deposit limits key to responsible gambling

In the interest of responsible gambling, United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC) licensed operators have committed to do their bit to support players. Whether gambling services are used online or in brick and mortar establishments, they have created tools to promote responsible behaviour and encourage better decision making right from the beginning of the player’s online casino journey. 

By encouraging players to set daily, weekly or monthly deposit values when creating their online profiles at online casinos, they can more effectively manage their budget.

Initially, taking the form of a dropdown list, players would then select the value that most closely met their needs before completing the sign-up process. A handy text box was also an available selection in which players could type in an alternative value.

After a few years having deposit guidelines incorporated into the sign-up process, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) surveyed 1,700 Bet365 customers.

This was to assess whether tweaks to the sign-up process could encourage better decision making and promote a more positive gaming experience. More specifically, they asked the question as to whether the current design of predetermined deposit values has a positive impact on player behaviour when playing casino games online

Deposit flexibility options

Commissioned by GambleAware and supported by the UKGC, the BIT tested three deposit options: 

  1. 600 were given the option to select predetermined values of between ₤5, and ₤100,000.
  2. 570 could select from a dropdown menu where the highest value was ₤250.
  3. 550 had the choice to type in their preferred value.

These options were excellent examples of what could be the best way forward in deposit flexibility and confirmed a trend that: 

  • if suggested deposit values appealed to a wide range of bankrolls
  • or players had to type in their preferred cap

The vast majority would set aside around 45% less than continuing with the business-as-usual option of number 1.

The customer’s choice

According to Rosanna Barry, Principal Advisor of Consumer Markets at BIT, the report was a culmination of a large volume of detailed work completed by the consultancy and showed the promise of positive change.

She said: “It shows how seemingly superficial changes to the way 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.”

BIT recommends that, instead of offering players predetermined selections or even offering them a range of lowest and highest values, each player gets offered an empty text box where they can type in what is most reasonable for them. Education is the key with open and honest communication being the best way to encourage responsible gaming.

Tim Miller, the Executive Director of Research and Policy at the UKGC, confirmed the importance of studies using real consumers to find solutions that work and reduce gambling harms. While BIT shared its findings with the Commission, they confirmed that further research is necessary concerning the anchoring elements of online casino customer journeys.

Playing games of chance is a great deal of fun and should get used for relaxation and entertainment, rather than a way to earn a living. When players are aware of the risks and are supported throughout their casino journey, keeping them safe and secure is easy when each operator encourages dialogue that leads to adaptation and evolution.