Skip to main content

Voluntary Limit Setting and Player Choice in Most Intense Online Gamblers: An Empirical Study of Gambling Behaviour

Abstract

Social responsibility in gambling has become a major issue for the gaming industry. The possibility for online gamblers to set voluntary time and money limits are a social responsibility practice that is now widespread among online gaming operators. The main issue concerns whether the voluntary setting of such limits has any positive impact on subsequent gambling behaviour and whether such measures are of help to problem gamblers. In this paper, this issue is examined through data collected from a representative random sample of 100,000 players who gambled on the win2day gambling website. When opening an account at the win2day site, there is a mandatory requirement for all players to set time and cash-in limits (that cannot exceed 800 € per week). During a 3-month period, all voluntary time and/or money limit setting behaviour by a subsample of online gamblers (n = 5,000) within this mandatory framework was tracked and recorded for subsequent data analysis. From the 5,000 gamblers, the 10 % most intense players (as measured by theoretical loss) were further investigated. Voluntary spending limits had the highest significant effect on subsequent monetary spending among casino and lottery gamblers. Monetary spending among poker players significantly decreased after setting a voluntary time limit. The highest significant decrease in playing duration was among poker players after setting a voluntary playing duration limit. The results of the study demonstrated that voluntary limit setting had a specific and significant effect on the studied gamblers. Therefore, voluntary limits appear to show an appropriate effect in the desired target group (i.e., the most gaming intense players).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Auer, M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012). Theoretical loss and gambling intensity: A simulation study. Gaming Law Review and Economics, 16, 269–273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bernhard, B. J., Lucas, A. F., & Jang, D. (2006). Responsible gaming device research report. Paradise: University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Broda, A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., Bosworth, L. B., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Virtual harm reduction efforts for internet gambling: Effects of deposit limits on actual internet sports gambling behaviour. Harm Reduction Journal, 5, 27.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Currie, S. R., Hodgins, D. C., Wang, J., el-Guebaly, N., & Wynne, H. (2008a). In pursuit of empirically based responsible gambling limits. International Gambling Studies, 8, 207–227.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Currie, S. R., Hodgins, D. C., Wang, J., el-Guebaly, N., Wynne, H., & Miller, N. V. (2008b). Replication of low-risk gambling limits using Canadian provincial gambling prevalence data. Journal of Gambling Studies, 24, 321–335.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Currie, S. R., Hodgins, D. C., Casey, D. M., el-Guebaly, N., Smith, G. J., Williams, R. J., et al. (2011). Examining the predictive validity of low-risk gambling limits with longitudinal data. Addiction, 107, 400–406.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. DiClemente, C. C., Prochaska, J. O., Fairhurst, S. K., Velicer, W. F., Velasquez, M. M., & Rossi, J. S. (1991). The process of smoking cessation: An analysis of precontemplation, contemplation, and preparation stages of change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 295–304.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Focal Research Consultants. (2007). Assessment of the behavioural impact of the responsible gaming device (RGD) features: Analysis of Nova Scotia player-card data. The Windsor trial. Report prepared for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation.

  9. Griffiths, M. D., & Auer, M. (2011). Approaches to understanding online versus offline gaming impacts. Casino and Gaming International, 7(3), 45–48.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Griffiths, M. D., & Wood, R. T. A. (2008). Responsible gaming and best practice: How can academics help? Casino and Gaming International, 4(1), 107–112.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Griffiths, M. D., Wood, R. T. A., Parke, J., & Parke, A. (2007). Gaming research and best practice: Gaming industry, social responsibility and academia. Casino and Gaming International, 3(3), 97–103.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Griffiths, M. D., Wood, R. T. A., & Parke, J. (2009). Social responsibility tools in online gambling: A survey of attitudes and behaviour among internet gamblers. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 12, 413–421.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. International Gaming Research Unit. (2007). The global online gambling report: An exploratory investigation into the attitudes and behaviours of internet casino and poker players. UK: eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Meyer, G., Hayer, T., & Griffiths, M. D. (2009). Problem gaming in Europe: Challenges, prevention, and interventions. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Monaghan, S. M., & Blaszczynski, A. (2010). Electronic gaming machine warning messages: Information versus self-evaluation. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 144, 83–96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Parke, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2006). The psychology of the fruit machine: The role of structural characteristics (revisited). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 4, 151–179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Parke, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2007). The role of structural characteristics in gambling. In G. Smith, D. Hodgins, & R. Williams (Eds.), Research and measurement issues in gambling studies (pp. 211–243). New York: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Parke, A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012). Beyond illusion of control: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of gambling in the context of information technology. Addiction Research and Theory, 20, 250–260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Prochaska, J. O. P., & Prochaska, J. M. (1991). Why don’t people change? Why don’t continents move? Journal of Pyschotherapy Integration, 9, 83–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Smeaton, M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2004). Internet gambling and social responsibility: An exploratory study. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 49–57.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Wood, R. T. A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2010). Social responsibility in online gambling: Voluntary limit setting. World Online Gambling Law Report, 9(11), 10–11.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael Auer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Auer, M., Griffiths, M.D. Voluntary Limit Setting and Player Choice in Most Intense Online Gamblers: An Empirical Study of Gambling Behaviour. J Gambl Stud 29, 647–660 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-012-9332-y

Download citation

Keywords

  • Online gambling
  • Responsible gambling
  • Social responsibility in gambling
  • Limit setting
  • Online lotteries
  • Online poker
  • Online casinos