Patterns of play: Analysis of data from machines in bookmakers

Abstract

Update 19/9/16: A revised version of this report has been published with changes made to Table B.7. In the previous version, because of the way some bets were recorded, it looked like the maximum stakes people had placed was £200. This is an oddity about how the system stores and records bets related to bonuses and the authors have excluded these cases from the analysis in this version. Versions of the report as previously published are available on request.

Update 14/9/16: The authors have informed RGT of a suspected calculation error affecting some figures in this report, which will be corrected as soon as possible. The authors do not expect the corrections to alter the conclusions. If necessary a revised report will be published once available with changes clearly marked.

This report describes for the first time, transactional information collected by gambling machines in bookmakers, in Great Britain. Category B machines have become a key area of interest in recent years among both policy makers and the media, particularly B2 machines found in bookmakers. These machines allow gamblers to stake up to £100 at each bet. Each bet, or transaction, is recorded by the machine along with its outcome. These transactional data – how much money gamblers put into the machines and how much is paid out – have not been examined before. This report will help policy makers better understand how, when and where these machines are used.

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