What are the benefits of player protection measures and limits in online casinos? In the area of player protection, there are always discussions about the benefits of the various protection measures. The fact is, however, that online casinos provide various options for responsible gaming. In some countries where online gambling is already completely or partially regulated, research has been done on the effects of limits and other methods, and I will try to summarize the most important information. Some time ago someone drew my attention to the discussion in the forum about limits and player protection in online casinos. He had asked at that time whether there are already investigations within the range player protection with on-line Casinos. I looked around once, a few studies read and try here the results found by me briefly to give back.
What types of player protection measures are there in online casinos?
Most online casinos use various options to make gambling controllable for players. Most online casinos perform a reality check after one hour or 1,000 spins, showing the player winnings, losses and play time. In extreme cases, where there are particularly strong derailments (very high, atypical deposits), online casinos should seek direct feedback from players. Furthermore, the player can set different limits or the self-block. There are the following possibilities:
- Deposit Limit: Limits the maximum amount a player can deposit into their account.
- Loss Limit: The maximum loss a player can have is limited for a certain period of time. The wager is subtracted from the winnings to calculate the loss.
- Bet Limits: The total amount that can be wagered on all casino games is limited. In contrast to the Loss Limit, all bets are considered whether they have resulted in a win or a loss.
- Game Time Limits: The duration of a session can be fixed. Once the time has elapsed, you can no longer play.
Pop-Up window: A help for the reality check?
In Austria, the function of the pop-up window at the provider Playscan had also been investigated. In this case, after exactly 1,000 rotations on the slot, you received a notification about the current status and the playing time. Players quickly lose track of the time they spend playing. Fade-ins should help him to reflect and to keep in mind how long he has been participating in gambling. More information in more detail can be found at http://www.CASINOBTC.org/all-games/.
The study had examined 400,000 sessions before the introduction with 400,000 sessions after the introduction. The research showed that only 1% of the players received the pop-up at all. Before the introduction, only 4,220 sessions with 1,000 spins were counted, with exactly 5 ending 1,000 after the spin. After the introduction, 4,205 times the fades were displayed at 400,000 sessions. 45 sessions stopped after exactly 1,000 rotations – the termination rate increased by a factor of 9.
Although further research on pop-ups has been carried out in the meantime, almost all of them came to similar conclusions. For some of the players, this leads to a rethink, which is then also reflected in their playing behavior. In 2009, however, research showed that 50% of players did not even read the messages.
Personal Feedback as a Measure against Escalating Gaming Behaviour
In Austria, a study was conducted in which the authors Michael Auer and Mark Griffiths, in collaboration with the gambling provider win2day, investigated what feedback messages can do for the player. Normally a casino should recognize unusual outliers in the deposit behavior and if particularly much money was deposited, also communicate with the player.
The study has not yet been published, but there are still some results that have already been published. Thus one determined that text messages in which form ever, which thematize the play behavior in 71% of the cases an effect on the deposit and the play time had.
Game history – a controversial feature
Most casinos have a history of your deposits, withdrawals and bets on the games. The effectiveness of these measures is somewhat controversial. It’s supposed to open players’ eyes and make them realize how much they’ve already lost in a certain period of time. However, for some players, the opposite effect can be seen when they try to make up for losses, for example, or notice that they are well in the plus in a month and then play more because they have not yet reached their asset loss limit.
- In Australia, there was a study on the subject in which 67% of the participants considered the existence of the history to be positive, as it partially opens their eyes. In a survey conducted in 2007 by eCOGRA‘s testing organisation, 75% also rated the data as positive.
- This contrasts with a study on the player card project in Nova Scotia (Canada). In 2005, polls revealed that 9% of problem players were motivated to play by the statistics because they thought they had to make up for their losses through winnings.
Self-locking as a reliable tool
Ultimately one can let oneself be blocked with on-line Casinos for the period of days, weeks, months or also more than one year. I am familiar with an Austrian study, which was developed in cooperation with the provider win2day. Within the study period one had determined that 8,237 users ordered more than 11,818 self-exclusions. The response rate was 3.1%.
Then 259 players were asked more precisely about the reasons, whereby the players could give several reasons. For 63% it was a preventive measure and 50% stated that they had lost too much money online. Nearly 36% said that the time they spent gambling on the Internet was too much. 30% had had themselves blocked because of a total loss of control. 26% also had a problem with win2day as their provider. Only 21% of the people had called themselves problem players during the blocking.
- 14% stated in surveys that they had been blocked by win2day before. 9% of the respondents were blocked at other casinos at the same time.
- The data shows once again that self-locking usually only helps temporarily and that some players switch to other providers, otherwise they would not be blocked at several companies at the same time.
What is striking about the studies on online gambling?
Most studies involving online gambling providers only look at the gaming behavior of customers at an online casino. Surely it is impossible to establish links between the casinos, as data protection does not allow it and not every gambling provider will cooperate with research institutes. Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that players usually play in several online casinos, so that they can go from one casino to the next when the self-imposed limits have been reached.
Altogether one must admit at this point that there must be more global investigations here, so that one receives a better picture over the entire situation.
Experiences with various limits
I myself never set limits in an online casino unless I have to try something out. However, I’ve talked to various players and had their experiences with limits given to me once.
- I’ve been told about the session limits that they’re not supposed to do anything. It’s difficult to stop when you can deposit, play and then stop playing because time is up. What happens then with deposited amounts? Just stop or rather go to the next casino?
- In the area of betting limits, most people also have problems. If things go well, it’s hard to stop because the betting limit has been reached. Sometimes players go to the next casino, play the slot there and lose.
- Deposit limits only protect actual assets, it doesn’t stop a player from gambling a big win back. Therefore, I have been told that loss limits are still the best.
With regard to deposit limits, a player has described to me that he sets himself limits at many casinos. He noticed that he partly remembers the exact dates when he can play again at a casino. On that day he usually deposits there again, because it is possible again. Sometimes he plays slots, although he doesn’t feel like playing – just because he feels like he has to play, after all it works again.