Becky Rowe and Pantelis Solomon focused on the opportunities to influence behaviours towards safer gambling, leveraging both the existing skills of operators and new insights coming out of behavioural science.
“Gambling operators have a great opportunity to deliver effective and creative responsible gambling interventions through the broad range of skills already present within their businesses.
“These skills are evidenced by all of the amazing games and advertising and customer service offers that operators have in place.
“For example, if you look at the quality of digital experiences from a player perspective in online and gaming machines, it is quite different from the quality of the digital experiences around the responsible gambling interventions. If you put the same skills on delivering those responsible gambling interventions digitally, they would look and feel quite different and crucially would be so much more impactful.
“Within operators, compliance teams are often left on their own to develop the interventions – and some of the tasks that they face in designing these interventions are creative ones. Or they are customer service challenges. Or retail challenges. They are not necessarily the skills that come naturally to the compliance teams but they are skills that the business has in other departments.
“We want to see operators take advantage of the opportunity to throw the full weight of all of their skills behind responsible gambling interventions. This type of organisational change is hard, but it’s an incredible opportunity to use talented employees to deliver and design creative and impactful responsible gambling products.”
“Reducing risky gambling play is inherently a behavioural challenge and behaviour is profoundly influenced by context. What is presented to the players makes a big difference. Even little visual cues that may sound innocuous can actually have a big impact.
“Removing friction is an important part of that. For example, HMRC wanted people to use an online form. In the existing system, there was a second landing page before accessing the form. We removed that intermediate stage and it doubled the number of people that actually went to the form - just the simple removal of that small barrier.
“In gambling, friction is actually sometimes in the wrong places. If you want to deposit money into your account, you just click a button. But to withdraw money there are multiple steps – and even a cooling off period. If you want people to access the responsible gambling tools, you have to make it as easy as possible.
“Timing is another example of a small change that can make a big impact. For example, China uses reverse vending machines where you can recycle your drink bottle. To increase usage, they introduced them in tube stations. So people finished their drinks as they came out of stations and immediately deposited the empty bottle for money back on their travel card.
“In gambling, this can mean setting limits that are hard to change before people start gambling. Introducing the change at the right time can have an outsize impact.”