bet365: Using evidence to deliver the most effective safer gambling tools

Evidence-based measures are the foundation of the safer gambling initiatives at bet365. Last year, bet365 partnered with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to understand how safer gambling tools can be designed to help people who gamble to control their spending more effectively. Our work focused on deposit limits, a key safer gambling tool used by thousands of customers to keep track of their spending, and the impact of displaying numerical options to customers on the decisions they make.

With BIT, bet365 conducted the first field trial of its kind, using real customers to determine whether reducing the ‘anchors’ people see when setting deposit limits could in turn reduce risky play. ‘Anchoring’ is a term used to describe how people’s decision making can be influenced by the numbers presented to them. With safer gambling tools, the hypothesis was that high amounts presented in the dropdown menus of standard industry deposit limit tools were subconsciously causing people to set deposit limits at higher levels.

Working with BIT, bet365 invited 45,000 existing customers who do not use deposit limits to set a limit in order to evaluate 3 different versions of a standard deposit limit tool:

  • No anchors: a free text box to enter any deposit limit of a customer’s choosing.
  • Lower anchors: a dropdown menu to choose a deposit limit, with an upper amount offered of £250.
  • Control: a dropdown menu to choose a deposit limit with denominations from £5 to £100,000 and an option to choose ‘no limit’.

The findings showed that industry standard deposit limit tools led people to set higher limits. Compared to a control group, the deposit limits set were 46% lower with the free text box option.

As deposit limits are an important safer gambling tool that bet365 proactively encourages customers to make use of, we have now implemented the key recommendation that customers should be presented with a free text box – no anchors – when setting deposit limits. This means customers are not presented with any suggested monetary amounts when setting deposit limits.

We will be monitoring the impact of these changes going forward to ensure we are encouraging positive behavioural change across our player base and are encouraged that our work provides a starting point to examine further meaningful interventions on safer gambling.

More information:

*This article features in EGBA’s recently published annual Sustainability Report 2021/22.

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