Cashless and card-based technologies in gambling: A review of the literature

Abstract

AIM: Provide an overview of empirical evidence and other relevant literature by which to better understand the arguments for and against the introduction of cashless and card-based technologies, including features to reduce problem gambling and promote responsible gambling. Also considers various approaches to regulation in other jurisdictions and identifies ongoing and planned research. METHOD: Online search of elevent databases and twelve specialist libraries. Grey literature was identified using online searches. Professional and informal networks and 49 gaming regulatory bodies from international jurisdictions provided information. A range of industry stakeholders were asked to submit their views formally in writing and informally. FINDINGS: Evidence on the use and impact of card-based and cashless technologies in gambling is limited. This limited evidence suggested that cashless and card-based responsible gambling features (CCRGFs) were used by some, but not all, gamblers. The features relating to transparency and information (for example, statements showing how much people have gambled) were more popular than more restrictive features such as pre-commitment (for example, self-imposed limits on time and spending) or self-exclusion. Evidence also suggested that for players to start using new technologies they need to be informed, the systems need to be reliable and easy to use, the registration process needs to be efficient, and security and confidentiality must be prioritised. Very few other gambling regulators had definitive regulations on cashless and card-based technologies, despite being aware of their potential to help problem gamblers. Most jurisdictions remained cautious, and many were monitoring the outcomes of ongoing research. Some industry stakeholders did not feel that the costs or challenges in adopting such technology would be proportionate with the commercial opportunities available. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is required, including a feasibility study to assess the capabilities of such technology, and pilot studies to explore player behaviour and attitudes. Research should be conducted in real environments, such as live gambling venues.

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