New research advocates a behaviour change approach to tackle problem gambling

The Senet Group has published a qualitative independent research report entitled “In control: How to support safer gambling using a behaviour change approach”, that examines gambling behaviours in the context of personal control.

The independent agency that conducted the research,  Revealing Reality, believes that its report “puts forward a practical framework and evidence to guide the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions or messaging that aim to change gambling behaviour for the better”.

Announcing publication of the research report, the Senet Group states on its website that “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”.

It believes that 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” and
  • “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 of which “people set boundaries to their gambling which they look to maintain through a variety of formal and informal management strategies”. 

Commenting on the research, Gillian Wilmot, Chairman of the Senet Group, has 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 standardsThis 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, has 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 research report can be downloaded below.