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  • Policy proposal
  • 1st Aug 2023

Using behavioural market design to align gambling operator incentives with consumer interests

Executive summary

This discussion paper presents ideas to reduce gambling harm by reshaping the market. In the UK gambling market, incentives are not strong enough for operators to prevent gambling harm, apart from at the extreme ends. A well-designed market would align operator incentives with improving consumer welfare and well-being. 

We explore two approaches that have been used as levers in other markets:

  1. Applying pressure on operators by sharing information about them with other stakeholders. For example, providing consumers with information such as which operators have the best customer service score could encourage consumers to spend more money with those operators, incentivising all operators to improve their customer service. 
  2. Creating stronger regulatory incentives to encourage best practice. For example, clear guidelines and/or outcome measures allow the regulator to monitor operator performance. Performance can be tied to incentives such as levies, fines or other regulatory action to further incentivise operators to prioritise consumer interest.  

Our current view is that the first approach has benefits but is unlikely to be sufficient on its own to reshape the market, and that a combination of both approaches is likely to be most effective. 

We welcome feedback on this discussion paper. Our next steps are to work with stakeholders to shape new research and pilots to help inform policymaker decisions on what should be done to reshape the market.

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