GambleAware research calls for greater clarity on online messaging

Research from Bournemouth University has called for more transparent information regarding online games and promotional materials on gambling websites. 

The paper – which is part of the Responsible Gambling Projects, commissioned by GambleAware – stated that an increase in transparency is essential to reducing gambling harms. 

The research was undertaken to review how safer gambling messages are delivered and to what extent transparency is present when operators provide information to customers.

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, explained: “This report makes some important recommendations for gambling operators to place greater focus and importance on safer gambling messages on their websites and ensure people are aware of the risks. 

“This research serves as further proof that we need to see the gambling White Paper published as soon as possible to avoid further gambling harm.”

Key recommendations from the research concluded that gambling operators should deliver information about “genuine probability” of winning in a game rather than exaggerated return rates. 

Furthermore, the paper stated that educational content should be provided by operators to target gamblers’ misperceptions of how games work, potential risks of gambling and safer gambling behaviour. 

The research noted that previous research within the gambling industry has highlighted the use of unfair or misleading promotional techniques, such as free play promotions and unclear pay-out rates, as well as the lack of corporate social responsibility policies.

The full review provides further guidance for the gambling industry and other stakeholders (including policy makers and researchers) to inform future best practices and regulations in promoting responsible and safer gambling.

The latest reports findings also offer recommendations for the industry and stakeholders on how safer gambling information is positioned on websites, how they use engaging materials, such as videos and about algorithm uses within marketing may help prevent gambling-related harm.