Reducing risky gambling

  • 2017

At-risk gamblers may feel guilty about the time and money they spend online, and about betting more than they can afford to lose. There is a need to improve the uptake of responsible gambling tools online.


Gamblers are subject to numerous operator touchpoints where small adjustments could steer them to safer play. For example, betting platforms often anchor deposit limits at high levels (such as £100,000), leading gamblers to deposit more money then they can afford. Making small changes to these limits could decrease deposits on gambling platforms.

Another touchpoint change that could yield positive results for gamblers is responsible gambling tools. Reducing the frictions that consumers face in signing up to these tools may encourage gamblers to play more safely.


We conducted a literature review, a data science analysis, a review of existing operator practices, a mystery shopping exercise, a qualitative study and two randomised controlled trials to examine the variables relating to online gamblers’ behaviour.

Result & Impact

We found that just four variables can effectively identify high-risk gamblers: mean daily stakes, variation in daily stakes, variation in daily returns and mean number of deposits per day.