A review of the remote gambling research interim report on phase II

Abstract

An Independent Review of the Remote Gambling Research Interim Report on Phase II by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the Responsible Gaming Council of Canada (RGC) for Gamble Aware (August 30, 2017)

Large gambling data sets and risk detection algorithms may have great value in determining markers of harmful or risky behaviour and subsequently lead to the development of harm reduction methodology.

A report commissioned by Gamble Aware and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Responsible Gaming Council of Canada (RGC) to explore this hypothesis was released on August 30, 2017. PwC/RGC collected excellent information both in its survey of gamblers and the corresponding online player data. They described several innovative applications of these data to identify problem gamblers.

At Focal Research Consultants, we have been working with similar data sets from diverse gambling providers in Canada, Europe, United Kingdom and Australasian markets. We have built risk detection algorithms for commercial and research applications for more than 10 years and are uniquely positioned to assess the strengths and weaknesses of this report. In the following review which was both self-funded and non-commissioned, we identify a number of issues with the sampling methodology and analyses of the PwC/RGC report. These concerns could have significant implications for the appropriateness of the results and conclusions as reported. The existing data set can be reanalyzed to address many of the shortfalls identified here.

We have organized our assessment of the report as follows:
1) Sampling and Segmentation,
2) Analysis,
3) Conclusions,
4) Recommendations.

As much of the information is associated with advanced statistical procedures, we have provided a brief summary for the lay reader at the beginning of most sections.

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