Identifying problem gambling – findings from a survey of loyalty card customers

Abstract

This study is part of the Responsible Gambling Trust’s machines research programme. This programme aimed to examine whether industry data generated by machines in bookmakers could be used to distinguish between harmful and non-harmful patterns of play. To do this, a survey of people who have a loyalty card for Ladbrokes, William Hill or Paddy Power was conducted. The survey included questions about gambling behaviour and questions which measured whether someone was a problem gambler or not. Permission was sought to link participant’s survey data with their loyalty card data. This linked data was then analysed by Featurespace and RTI International to see if it was possible to predict who was a problem gambler by looking at industry data alone. The results of that research are presented in a separate report (see Report 3: Predicting Problem Gambling; Excell et al, 2014). This report aims to document the survey process, give an overview of the broader gambling behaviour of loyalty card holders, identify the prevalence of problem gamblers among loyalty card holders, to introduce some key themes that are used in the predictive analysis (Report 3) and to highlight some caveats of the research.

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