Promoting safe gambling is critical in a period of strong sector growth

New betting platforms and loosening restrictions have led to both new people coming to the world of wagering and existing players spending more - and to increased potential for problem gambling.

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August 4, 2021

Promoting safe gambling is critical in a period of strong sector growth

The gambling world has been exploding over the past 5 years. Consumers now have more betting options as new ways of wagering and playing games of chance come online. The growth of new betting platforms and i-Gaming, the loosening of restrictions on sports betting, and the rise of e-sports have fuelled double-digit growth in the sector.

Revenue growth is a function of both new people coming to the world of wagering and existing players spending more. With this growth has come growth in the incidence of problem gambling. While estimates vary widely, there is concern for potential increase in problem gambling as the number of options increases.

Gambling addicted man with glasses in front of online casino slot machine on laptop computer at night - loosing his money. Dramatic low light grain shot.

As an impulse-control disorder, gambling addiction is often associated with other issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and employment challenges. To address these issues, the promotion of Responsible Gambling has become entrenched in the sector and is now considered a key element of good corporate citizenship.

In most major jurisdictions in the US, UK, and Canada, gaming companies are required as a condition of licensing to have responsible gambling programs, and provide resources for dealing with the problem. In addition to programs, information, and advertising by gaming companies to address the issue, specialized private services have flourished as individuals work to grapple with problems related to gambling addiction.

From a research and implementation standpoint, key challenges face organizations as they attempt to promote Responsible Gambling. These challenges relate to the following:

  • Building awareness that problem gambling is an issue worthy of attention while not hampering business growth
  • Creation of compelling and respectful corporate messaging around Responsible Gambling
  • Design and effectiveness of programs to assist customers with gambling problems

Attending to these challenges successfully is vital to long term business success in the sector.

RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP has 30 years of experience in providing consulting and research to organizations active in the Responsible Gambling ecosystem. We help clients manage the first challenge by tracking customer sentiment about Responsible Gambling, measuring recall, evaluating advertising, and determining the extent to which clients are doing a satisfactory job addressing the issue.  We also conduct usability studies to optimize the way in which website visitors engage with the Responsible Gambling content.

In most jurisdictions, industry bodies have been formed to promote Responsible Gambling and provide resources for people seeking help or assistance. For one such body, RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP completed research to help the organization better understand gamblers and make their communications more effective. Using our industry-leading choice-based segmentation, we have helped the organization identify priority segments of both the gambling and general publics so messages about Responsible Gambling could be targeted most effectively. One of the key mandates of the gaming organization should be to raise the visibility of problem gambling among its customers, employees, and the gambling public, and the public at large. We have completed innovative qualitative explorations to support the development of more engaging communications campaigns.

woman from the side in a casino, pulling the handle on a slot machine with purple lights shining on her, so she looks purple

In other work, RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP has leveraged unique approaches to help clients design and run online and in-person services to assist problem gamblers. For a major gaming client in Canada, we conducted a complex design research exercise featuring the use of Virtual Reality. The client wanted to ensure that kiosks for the service provided a welcoming, non-threatening atmosphere, and that they were situated appropriately in casino facilities. We created a virtual Responsible Gaming kiosk. Recruited gamblers were able to immerse themselves in the environment and provide feedback. We iteratively designed and optimized the look and location of the planned kiosks. The learning was indispensable in guiding the rollout of a system-wide network of Responsible Gaming kiosks.

To find out more about how we can help you formulate winning business strategies, please get in touch with us.

Jim Peterson, Managing Director

Anne Coulter, Managing Director

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