Original Paper

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 703-717

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Facilitating Responsible Gambling: The Relative Effectiveness of Education-Based Animation and Monetary Limit Setting Pop-up Messages Among Electronic Gaming Machine Players

  • Michael J. A. WohlAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Carleton University Email author 
  • , Sally GainsburyAffiliated withCentre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University
  • , Melissa J. StewartAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Dalhousie University
  • , Travis SztainertAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Carleton University


Although most gamblers set a monetary limit on their play, many exceed this limit—an antecedent of problematic gambling. Responsible gambling tools may assist players to gamble within their means. Historically, however, the impact of such tools has been assessed in isolation. In the current research, two responsible gambling tools that target adherence to a monetary limit were assessed among 72 electronic gaming machine (EGM) players. Participants watched an educational animation explaining how EGMs work (or a neutral video) and then played an EGM in a virtual reality environment. All participants were asked to set a monetary limit on their play, but only half were reminded when that limit was reached. Results showed that both the animation and pop-up limit reminder helped gamblers stay within their preset monetary limit; however, an interaction qualified these main effects. Among participants who did not experience the pop-up reminder, those who watched the animation stayed within their preset monetary limits more than those who did not watch the animation. For those who were reminded of their limit, however, there was no difference in limit adherence between those who watched the animation and those who did not watch the animation. From a responsible gambling perspective, the current study suggests that there is no additive effect of exposure to both responsible gambling tools. Therefore, for minimal disruption in play, a pop-up message reminding gamblers of their preset monetary limit might be preferred over the lengthier educational animation.


Limit setting Limit adherence Erroneous cognitions Pop-up message Education Animation Responsible gambling