Responsible gambling strategies for Internet gambling: The theoretical and empirical base of using pop-up messages to encourage self-awareness

Abstract

Internet gambling is a rapidly growing phenomenon, increasing in types of games and gambling opportunities, number of sites, owners and jurisdictions. In response, participation and revenue generated by Internet gambling is also rising, along with the incidence of Internet gambling problems. In the unregulated environment it is difficult for players to be assured appropriate safeguards to protect them from harm, however, responsible gambling strategies are essential to reduce to risks of online gambling. Currently there is wide variation in the extent to which responsible gambling strategies are implemented, and little empirical support for their efficacy. Based on theoretical conceptualisation and empirical evidence taken from gambling and Internet research, this paper proposes the use of pop-up messages encouraging selfawareness to effectively increase responsible gambling and reduce the incidence of problem gambling. The paper describes the rationale for this strategy and key principles for the most effective implementation of this strategy. The conclusions drawn have significant implications for key stakeholders including industry, policy decision makers, regulators, academics and community members.

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