- GambleAware commissioned a study to evaluate the transparency of safer gambling messages
- Previous research found that operators use misleading promotional tactics to attract customers
- The new study recommends that operators must put transparency at the heart of their safer gambling messages
GambleAware is urging gambling operators to be transparent when posting safer gambling messages on their websites so that customers become fully aware of the potential risks of gambling online.
The independent charity made the statement based on the recommendations of a recent study into how online operators convey effective and engaging safer gambling messages to players.
Transparency Must Be Prioritized
GambleAware commissioned Bournemouth University to conduct independent research that would assess the transparency of information delivered by operators to their customers.
The study was carried out after previous research found that some online gambling businesses employ misleading promotional techniques to attract players to their platforms. They come up with “free play” promos and do not provide complete and clear details regarding their payout rates. Some operators also don’t have corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies in place.
In “How to Create Safer Online Gambling“, researchers at Bournemouth University adopted four separate research formats to examine operator standards.
Under the “Scooping Review“, researchers mapped the extent and depth of academic studies available on developing safer gambling practices. They then conducted a “Narrative Review” of transparency in persuasive and immersive technologies. They also looked into the impact of online marketing on customer behavior and engagement in online environments.
In the third stage of the study, Bournemouth University carried out a “Systematic Review” of transparency in safer gambling and best practice recommendations available to online operators. In the last part, researchers provided “Website Content Analysis” wherein they reviewed the existing messaging of licensed operators in the UK.
Among the key recommendations of the study is that gambling operators must avoid coming up with exaggerated return rates to woo players. They should be clear and honest when stating the probability of winning in a game.
The research also recommends that operators give high priority to educational content to reduce player misperceptions of how gambling works, thereby protecting them from gambling harm.
Additionally, online operators must observe full transparency when it comes to gathering customer data, its purpose, and the potential consequences arising from the use of data.
Gambling White Paper Must be Published ASAP
GambleAware CEO Zoe Osmond supported the insights provided by the research and highlighted the vital role that safer gambling messages play in protecting customers from the risks of online gambling. She also called on the government to publish the gambling White Paper as soon as possible to prevent further gambling harm. It has been delayed multiple times already and could be postponed yet again due to the recent changes in government leadership.