1. Support all customers to stay in control through how we design and market our products

Anyone can become at risk of problems with their gambling. So we want to ensure all our customers stay informed and in control so they can have a positive experience of gambling. The biggest impact we can make is through the products we offer, how we advertise them and the customer experience we provide.

Limit setting can help improve people’s control but there are important barriers to overcome.

For William Hill to be a sustainable business, we want customers to spend only what they can afford. In our experience, when people set limits they often stick to them. That’s why limit setting can help customers take control and form safer gambling behaviours.

While these limit-setting tools can be effective, they’re not very widely used. Less than half of people are aware that limit-setting tools exist and only 10% typically use them.1 But when people set spend limits before they start playing, they stick to these limits 87% of the time and with time limits, they stick to them 77% of the time.2 We’ve been working with others in the industry to find ways to encourage customers to use these tools.

On gaming machines in shops, we’ve trialled moving from stake limits to loss limits – because it’s losses that most affect the customer. We are hoping to roll this out everywhere later in the year. We have also made limit setting more prominent and for those who don’t set limits, we’ve moved default session limits earlier so that session times are shorter. This has shown an impact on withdrawals by customers – meaning that customers do take control when prompted.

There’s more to do to get the full benefit out of limit-setting as a tool. Customers who are experiencing problems can move from gaming machine to gaming machine, from shop to shop, or app to app. In order for these tools to work most effectively, it’s crucial to help more people get into the habit of setting limits every time they play.

Setting the limit screen shot

Limit setting option promoted at the start of every gaming session in shops

Sources:

  1. http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/survey-data/Gambling-participation-in-2017-behaviour-awareness-and-attitudes.pdf
  2. William Hill data, 2018

Helping customers stay in control can improve a customer’s experience of gambling.

For a long time now, the gambling industry has offered ‘free bet’ promotions to reward and attract customers. These often come with so-called ‘wagering requirements’, so that you can only withdraw the winnings on those free bets after a certain amount of betting. The money is locked in – and that can feel unfair and unclear, and reduces the control our customers have over their betting.

Recently, the Competition and Markets Authority decided to make it compulsory for gambling companies to allow customers to cash in these bonuses. We chose to not only comply with the regulation but also to make it a part of how we engage differently with our customers. We’ve designed it to be an easy-to-find part of every game they play.

This feature is going live across all online games so that we now have a prominent ‘cash in my bonus’ logo. This gives us a way to engage with customers in a personalised way and a fair way.

We’ll continue to track the uptake of the feature to understand how our customers use it. It’s our hope that customers use them as a regular part of the gambling experience, to stay better in control.

Cash-in screen shot

Option to cash in as an easy-to-find part of every online game