A researcher in Sweden has called on the industry to “prove that gaming responsibility tools have an effect.”  

Ekaterina Lvanova has been researching gaming responsibility for the past four years at Stockholm University, Sweden, and believes that research into gambling problems is falling behind.

The research, funded by Paf, has focused on gambling, having limits, gaming behaviour, attitudes towards gaming tools and the likelihood of predicting gambling problems.

“It is absolutely essential to prove that gaming responsibility tools have an effect and show how they make that effect,” Lvanova said of her research. “We are falling behind with both prevention and treatment from a public health perspective.

“My colleagues would agree that gambling problems are not taken as seriously as, for example, alcohol abuse. This attitude is reflected, in return, on those affected by gambling where it can still be seen more as a character problem for those people rather than a disease.”

Lvanova’s research created headlines in the industry across Europe as it called into question the effectiveness of voluntary limits, with it stating that they no noticeable effect.

As well as financially supporting the research Paf also provided access to real data from their own online games, which has been used to carry out the analysis in the research.

Daniela Johansson, Paf’s deputy chief executive officer and chief responsibility officer, is proud to have taken gaming responsibility “one step further.” She added: “The research can help us all gain a better understanding of the tools and methods that are proven to provide better gaming responsibility.”

Paf recently introduced a new mandatory loss limit which took effect at the turn of the year and reduces its maximum yearly loss limit by €5,000 to €25,000. This is a measure which Ivanova believes is a “step in the right direction” and believes they need to be “thoroughly tested.”