CQUniversity Recommends Capping Online Betting Limits

A study of 3,000 gamblers by the CQUniversity show that setting limits on gambler's betting accounts vastly reduces gambling harm.

There are many studies into the best practices for preventing problem gambling. Australia is at the forefront of this research, partly because of the country’s long history of gambling issues. A study from the CQUniversity in Queensland thinks it has the answer. However, its suggestions are nothing new and gambling companies are unlikely to implement them.

CQUniversity suggests capping limits for gamblers is the answer to Australia’s problem gamblers. The university sent more than 3,000 gamblers random messages over a four-week period. Researchers analysed the effects the messages had on the bettors’ wagers, betting patterns, and the time they spent gambling.

Some 41% of those surveyed set a deposit limit on their accounts. However, more than half stated they were unlikely to ever set one. Betting limits proved useful for those with them in place. The limits prevented overspending at least once per week in 25% of eligible respondents.

CQUniversity Shows Deposit Limits Are Popular

Gambling Research Australia (GRA) funded the research for the Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory (EGRL) of the CQUniversity. It discovered online casinos, sports betting sites, and other gambling venues do not always prompt user to limit their bet or deposit sizes.

Research Professor Nerilee Hing lead the research team for the CQUniversity study. The findings show gamblers prefer deposit limits over any other limitations. Overall spend limits follow, then a single bet amount, and loss limits.

Gamblers Require Regular Prompts

Limiting the time spent gambling is the least popular. Only 22% of those questioned imposed a timer on their betting.

“We also looked at what type of person was more likely to set limits. Of those with more serious gambling problems, 45.6% were setting at least one limit. This is encouraging, however as this group benefits the most from opt-in limits, the fact more than half aren’t taking that option suggests there’s still a need to address why people are unwilling to limit their betting.”

Some 32% of the study’s participants adopted at least one limit type. The study suggests an opt-out rather than opt-in to account limits should be in place.

“The study showed that prompt messages need to be consistent to allow gamblers to self-reflect. Then we see better uptake of limits.”

What Other Measures Are In Place?

Several schemes have come and gone over the years as the government battles gambling harm. However, pro-gambling campaigners say it is a waste of resources. Why? Because only 1% of gamblers have serious addictions. In addition, only 2% have a moderate problem. That leaves 97% of Aussies gambling without issues.

Facial recognition technology is a popular new method. The state-of-the-art tech identifies problem gamblers using cameras and a central database. The tech is extremely accurate, but raises questions about data protection and privacy.

Reducing gambling-related TV advertising is another measure gaining traction. Australia-facing gambling companies spent $271.3 million on adverts in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Kingdom banned gambling ads on TV from 06:30 to 20:30, which limits young people’s exposure.

Similar measures are in place in Australia, but Tabcorp supports a blanket ban on all gambling adverts on TV.

Banning credit cards for gambling is high on the government’s agenda. Research supports claims problem gamblers are more likely to gamble on credit. Using credit cards for gambling comes with increased costs for the user in addition to making it possible to place wagers with money they do not have or cannot afford to lose.

Using a credit card for gambling is not possible with several Australian banks. Macquarie banned its credit cards three years ago. Bank Australia followed suit on December 1, 2020. Again, this is Australia following in the UK’s footsteps. British gamblers cannot use credit cards for any gambling activity in April 2020.