Professor Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University has published two reports about gambling in the UK.
At a packed ABB event in Westminster last week, Professor Griffiths presented his independent evaluation of the ABB’s Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection, which was launched in October 2013.
The report provides commentary on the industry data collected by the ABB with specific reference to the time and money spending limits and mandatory time and money-based pop-up reminders on gaming machines (B2/B3 content), consumer information, customer interactions, voluntary self-exclusions, and age verification compliance.
Professor Griffiths notes:
- The ABB data suggest that most FOBT play at a session level is a relatively short-lasting activity (less than ten minutes is the mean average) and that session losses are relatively small (£7 is the mean average). The data contradicts the myth that players typically lose hundreds of pounds every session and play for hours.
- The ABB data clearly shows that the publicity surrounding the introduction of limit-setting tools had some immediate effect with almost 11,000 instances of within-session limit setting nationally in the first week of operation.
- The data show that approximately 95% of playing sessions are within mandatory spend limits, and that 90% of playing sessions are within mandatory time limits. This shows the vast majority of players appear to be playing responsibly and that the mandatory limits initially set by the ABB appear to be appropriate.
- The ABB data relating to what players do once they have reached the mandatory limits is encouraging. The data clearly shows that a significant minority of players either stop playing or do not put any more money into the machine once the mandatory time and/or monetary limits have been reached.
Mark Griffiths is an independent assessor to the Responsible Gambling Committee which monitors and reviews the ABB Code. Mark’s research looked at the initial impact based on three months of industry machine data. The RGT has also commissioned an independent evaluation of the Code by Nat Cen which is due out in the autumn.
A further report reviewing of problem gambling in the UK was also published at the event, concluding:
“This brief review has demonstrated that problem gambling in Great Britain is a minority problem that effects less than 1% of the British population and that the prevalence rate is much lower than in most other countries. Problem gambling also appears to be less of a problem than many other potentially addictive behaviours.
The latest British research tends to suggest that the prevalence rate of problem gambling is slightly declining. Data also appears to suggest that since 2010, that rate of problem gambling in England has dropped by around 40% but the rates of problem gambling in Scotland have held relatively stable. Rates of pathological gambling appear to be extremely low and in some surveys were not even reported as the base sizes were simply too small.”
Read the ABB’s Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection here: http://www.abb.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ABB-code-for-responsible-gambling.pdf