A recently published study found that giving players an opportunity to set their own deposit limits, instead of letting them pick from a list of pre-set limits, encourages them to curb their spending. The study was commissioned by GambleAware and conducted by Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) on 1,701 customers of bet365.
More Flexibility Means Less Spending
The goal of the study conducted by the BIT was to find out whether available ‘design of deposit limits’ affects players’ behaviour and to determine if the psychological effects of ‘anchoring’ had any role in punters’ betting habits.
As many as 1,701 bet65 customers took part in the survey by merely choosing their deposit limits on sign-up. The participants were able to choose between three options:
- The existing tool for setting deposit limits
- A dropdown menu offering low deposit limit suggestions and an upper limit of £250 as well as a ‘no limit’ option
- A ‘blank textbox’ with no suggestions
The results showed that respondents who were directed to the current deposit limit setting tool were inclined to spend more. Among them, the average limit stood at £14.30 per day. Meanwhile, the median limit among people who were given the option to set the limit to £250 was lower, at £8.30.
Finally, players who were shown only the blank text box set an average deposit limit of £7.10.
The study found that the absence of high deposit limit options cut the average daily deposit limits by nearly 50%.
The survey concluded that in the absence of high deposit limit options bettors tended to set lower limits for their daily spending and the median deposit limits were lower by nearly 50% compared to those who were given pre-set options.
Small Changes for Large Benefits
Due to observed differences, the BIT urged operators to reconsider their deposit limiting options and offer greater flexibility to customers in setting those limits, while GambleAware called on the UK Gambling Commission to recognise this format as the only valid mechanism in its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).
BIT underlined that this analysis of players’ behaviours may ‘improve the harm-reduction efficacy of deposit limit tools, without constraining choices for the consumer’.
Furthermore, BIT Consumer Markets Principal Advisor Rosanna Barry stressed that the “report is the culmination of a huge amount of detailed work by the team at BIT.”
The survey shows how seemingly superficial changes can deliver large benefits, BIT Consumer Markets Principal Advisor Rosanna Barry noted.
“It 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,” she added.
Meanwhile, UKGC’s Executive Director of Research and Policy Tim Miller described the study as important as it “uses experiences from real consumers to find what actually works to reduce the harms that can come from gambling.”
“Importantly, it provides practical options for how gambling operators can strengthen the tools they provide to protect consumers from harm,” he noted.