The recent wave towards making the gaming environment safer for the players and help preventing the development of bad gambling habits and addictions found new impulse in a research on deposit limits for players that gave enough reason for the Finnish gambling operator, Paf, to call the industry to impose mandatory deposit limits.
Assessment Of Deposit Limits As Prevention Measures
The sample of the research consisted of 4,328 randomly selected customers who created a new account with Paf in 2016 and played slot games, and the study focused around gambling, gaming limits, gaming behaviour, how players react to gambling tools and the likelihood of predicting gambling problems.
The primary aim of the researcher, Ekaterina Ivanova from the Stockholm University, was to assess the effectiveness of deposit limits on players with regards to considering them as a preventative measure for gambling addiction development.
The sample subjects were divided into four groups as per the moment of them being notified about a limit on deposits being imposed: during the registration process, during their first deposit, after the first deposit was made and no notification at all.
One of the findings of the research clearly indicated that the earlier the players were prompted to set a deposit limit the more players consider the measure and use it, with the numbers for pre-registration, first deposit, after first deposit and no prompt being 45.0%, 38.8%, 21.9% and 6.5%, respectively.
Voluntary Measure Ineffective
The research also found out that player net loss, the amount spent minus any money won, during the first 90 days was much higher among the group that was not prompted for setting the limit, as well as for players from the other three groups who later on decided to either increase or remove the deposit limit.
The main issue that was highlighted during the research was the ease with which players removed their limits after the required cooling down period of seven days, after either increasing or removing limits, with the whole intervention over these tools being non-invasive, leading to the conclusion that voluntary limits do not produce the desired effect.
Mandatory Limit Should Work
After the research period had passed, Paf decided to go for the mandatory limits, asking customers to set how much they can deposit before any game is being played, and Ivanova is urging the industry operators to follow the example to ensure better protection to their clients.
“We are proud to have contributed to taking the research into gaming responsibility one step further. The research can help us all gain a better understanding of the tools and methods that are proven to provide better gaming responsibility”, Daniela Johansson, Deputy CEO and CRO, Paf.
Starting from the summer of 2018, Par imposed a €30,000 hard cap on the amount a player can lose per year, even though they recognized a 5% decrease in income due to the measure, and even went further a year after that, in October 2019, by lowering the amount to €25,000, believing the lower limit be prove more effective than the higher one.