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Responsible Gambling Trust research into gaming machines
Tuesday December 02,2014 : RESULTS RELEASED ON RESEARCH INTO GAMING MACHINES
Responsible Gambling Trust says the understanding of these machines and the way people use them is now greatly enhanced.
The Responsible Gambling Trust in the UK has published independently conducted research into gaming machines in licensed betting offices that debunks at least some of the misconceptions and media claims that have created such a furore around FOBTs recently.
And the research suggests that it is possible to distinguish between problem and non-problem gambling behavior, but it is not yet an exact science.
RGT chief executive Marc Etches said Monday:
“When we started this programme there was no credible research into gaming machines in licensed betting offices. Our understanding of these machines and the way people use them is now greatly enhanced.”
Professor Alex Blaszczynski, chairman of the independent review panel that evaluated the research, commented:
“It is important to highlight the substantive and world-leading contribution to our understanding of problem gambling made by this research.
“This programme represents the first collaborative endeavour between multiple industry operators and independent researchers. It is of outstanding significance.”
Researchers Heather Wardle, Eleanor Ireland, David Excell, Jonathan Parkes and Daniel Gonzalez-Ordonez reviewed data from September 2013 to June 2014 from the UK’s five main bookmakers, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, BetFred and Paddy Power.
The data covered almost 8,300 retail betting shops, 32,650 machines, 178 million sessions and 6.7 billion individual bets, finding that the average stake on B2 and B3 machines was, at GBP5.13, significantly lower than the scare numbers bruited about by anti-machine bodies and some sections of the media
Looking at B2 games in isolation, the impact of bigger prizes was illustrated by the average bet size reaching GBP 14.08.
Over the 178 million sessions analysed, only one threw up a GBP13,776 loss incurred over 7.5 hours, whilst there was a single winning session of 3.5 hours that delivered GBP13,532.
Wagers in poorer areas tended to be lower and varied depending on the time of day; punters playing the machines after 10 pm had a higher average bet size of around GBP10.
Claims that punters wager large sums of money in a short time on the machines are not borne out by the study, which found that only 3 percent of B2 gaming sessions (which tend to attract bigger wagers) reflected bets at the maximum stake of GBP100...but after 10pm that percentage doubled.
Losses depended on the type of game; the average losses per session of B2 players was GBP6, whilst those playing a mix of B2 and B3 games in a session tended to lose an average GBP 14, indicating that the RTP on B3 games may be lower.
Punters lost in 70 to 80 percent of sessions.
73 percent of all the bets made on the machines went into B2 games, with roulette the most popular choice.
Researchers noted that, as a group, players who used both B2 and B3 games presented an opportunity for deeper research, as did patterns of play in different regions of Britain.
The report appears to conclude that although problem gambling behavioural patterns can be detected, this is a complex issue that is at present not a perfect science and could benefit from further specialised study.
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