A new report – commissioned by GambleAware – has advised operators to provide players with more transparent information about online games and promotions in order to reduce gambling harms.
Forming part of the Responsible Gambling Projects, Bournemouth University published the ‘How to create safer online gambling’ paper last week, presenting the findings of four separate studies.
These studies began with an initial ‘scoping review’, aiming to map the extent and diversity of peer reviewed academic research into online gamling, including safer gambling practices.
This was followed by a ‘narrative review’ of transparency in persuasive and immersive technologies, as well as in online marketing.
Thirdly, a ‘systematic review’ of transparency in safer and responsible gambling was ordered, including recommendations for best practice.
The research was concluded by a ‘content analysis’ of transparency present in the UK gambling operator websites.
Zoe Osmond, GambleAware CEO, commented: “This report makes some important recommendations for gambling operators to place greater focus and importance on safer gambling messages on their websites and ensure people are aware of the risks.
“This research serves as further proof that we need to see the gambling White Paper published as soon as possible to avoid further gambling harm.”
GambleAware commissioned the paper after previous research within the field highlighted the use of unfair or misleading promotional techniques, such as ‘free play’ promotions and unclear pay-out rates, as well as the lack of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies.
Key recommendations included that gambling operators should deliver information about genuine probability of winning in a game rather than exaggerated return rates.
Educational content was also raised as a priority point for online operators to reduce player misperceptions of how games work and to better inform on potential risks and safer gambling behaviours.
Operators were also recommended to be prepared to provide full transparency on purposes of data and possible consequences resulting from use of the data.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, GambleAware started the search for a partner to maintain its Aftercare Funding Programme, designed to improve the availability and access to post-care treatment and support for victims of gambling harms.