In the latest work by the Gambling Policy and Research Unit, we carried out research into gambling operator sites, to identify design features that may harm people by leveraging behavioural biases.
Our team designed a comprehensive Behavioural Risk Audit, drawing from well-established behavioural frameworks, such as the Online Choice Architecture report (CMA), dark patterns taxonomies and sludge audits. We conducted this audit across 10 gambling operator websites selected using YouGov data. Over the course of five weeks, four researchers explored the user journey, from opening an account, playing games and betting, to withdrawing funds and closing their account, noting their experiences and observations along the way.
We found that websites employ similar design choices as physical casinos and contain numerous features that may harm users. This report details nearly 30 key findings, revealing many actionable insights for the industry to remedy and test.