Research suggests gambling spend reduced with deposit limit options removed

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Research suggests gambling spend reduced with deposit limit options removed

New research has suggested that online gamblers reduce their spending limits by nearly half once industry-set options for deposit limits are removed.

The research from the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) found that once deposit limits are removed from view, players gambling online reduce the amount they set for themselves by 46%.

With deposit limits a common feature for operators in Great Britain which range from £5 ($6.84) to £100,000 of pre-defined options, insights from behavioural science suggests the way deposit limit tools are presented could influence the limits players set for themselves.

The trial, funded by charity GambleAware, found customers who had industry-standard deposit limit options presented to them, deposited more money into their accounts over 30 days.

The trial involved more than 1,700 online players, who were asked to set deposit limits using either the normal option or one of two new methods, either from a dropdown menu displaying low value options and an upper limit of £250, or with no displayed options and just a blank box to choose the amount.

It found the absence of high deposit limit options almost halved the average daily deposit limit players set, with deposit limits 46% lower compared to having the current options displayed when players were presented with the blank box, and 45% less with lower deposit suggestions.

The research team recommends that deposit limit tools shouldn’t present any values, giving customers a free box with no minimum or maximum amount to select, so they can set their own exact limits.

BIT Consumer Markets and Business team principal advisor Rosanna Barry, said: “This report shows how seemingly superficial changes to the way that 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.”

Gambling Commission executive director of Research and Policy Tim Miller, added: “This is an important study that uses experiences from real consumers to find what actually works to reduce the harms that can come from gambling.”

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