New Responsible Gaming Tools Research Paper: Key Highlights & Takeaways

The in-depth report from the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) shows there needs to be a nuanced & consistent approach when offering players a responsible gaming tool kit.
a stack of blue and green books on a blue background with a small ladder up the side of the books. above is a lightbulb. New Responsible Gambling Tools Research Paper: Key Highlights & Takeaways
June 08, 2022

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) and online gambling software provider Playtech have collaborated to create a white paper taking a closer look at responsible gambling (RG) tools.

The report goes in-depth into how effective these tools are and how operators can improve the ways they communicate their responsible gaming offering to players.

The RGC is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and mitigating gambling harm. It created the RG Check accredit program that Ontario adopted to make sure all operators that launch in the province are meeting the high RG standards needed to offer online gambling to players in the province.

The new research paper, entitled Gambling Digital Tools Across The Player Spectrum, has shed light on what the industry needs to do more of and what needs to change when it comes to offering players ways to limit time and money on online gambling sites.

As part of the methodology, five group discussions and 22 interviews with 56 stakeholders representing 43 organizations by the RGC. The research paper is a culmination of insights from across the gambling field. As outlined in the report, discussions focused on identifying:

  • Successful tools and success factors
  • The need for digital tools
  • Opportunities for bespoke and nuanced targeting of players
  • Barriers-to-entry and how to overcome any obstacles stopping a player from using an RG tool

The report goes on to:

  • Describe the ecosystem of digital gambling tools
  • Review case studies of practical tools
  • Outline promising practices
  • Discuss the barriers and areas of improvement
  • Outline ways to improve responsible gambling tools

Before the publishing of this report, Director of Standards and Accreditation Tracy Parker told Canada Gaming Review, “When all sides work together, it creates a more holistic, public health approach to minimizing gambling harms and protecting players and communities” — sentiments that are echoed within the research paper.

Key Report Findings Include:

  • Creating more diverse tools tailored to demographics and behaviors
  • Using existing technology to improve engagement and communication with players
  • Offering a responsible gambling tool set that is consistent across the board
  • Building a “tool positive culture” where there is no stigma attached to using an RG tool
  • Ensuring tools are easy to use, at no cost to the player, flexible, and integrated
  • Offering nuanced tools — different tools for players at different risk levels
  • Educating players as to the RG tools on offer earlier in their player experience, so it seems like a “natural part of play”

The RGC recommends that every gambling operator should offer a standard suite of tools. These include:

  • Deposit Limits
  • Time Limits
  • Time-Outs
  • Self‐Assessment
  • Self‐Exclusion
  • Risk Analytics

However, just because the tools are standardized, the RGC believes that there needs to be a nuanced approach to entice different players to use various tools suitable for the individual’s risk level. The stigma of using such tools also needs to be overcome, and the messaging on how players can use these tools needs to be approachable and straightforward.

The RGC says that a “standardized suite can also support uptake” and “engagement with tools,” meaning that, in their opinion, players are more likely to use tools that are familiar to them and standard at whatever sites they play on. The RGC goes on to say that it would “like to see much more in terms of a series of tools that people can select and try and if they like it, they use it, and if they don’t like it, they don’t use it. Things like budget setting — time is a big one.”

The RGC also believes that the following elements will help with player uptake on RG tools:

  • Design, i.e., the tools need to be visually appealing
  • Easy to use and understand
  • Intuitive and not intrusive
  • Operators should adapt reproaches and language to each market or jurisdiction

The RGC outlines three fundamental next steps to “allow for the deepest and broadest impact for people and on the gambling digital tools ecosystem as a whole.”

  1. Make sure RG tools are available to those players that are low risk as well as high risk
  2. Support increased RG tool awareness, uptake, and engagement, including a standardized suite of RG tools available across the board
  3. Create a “culture of responsibility” where both staff and player initiatives reflect player well-being

You can find the full RGC report on the effectiveness of gambling tools below.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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