Testing of harm minimisation messages for gaming machines

Abstract

This document presents the findings of a qualitative market research study to evaluate reactions amongst target gamblers to harm minimisation messages screened during play of poker machines. Specifically, the study aimed to assess the potential impact and effectiveness on gambling behaviour, of a series of ten potential harm minimisation messages. Key findings: There is a TRILOGY of messages that resonates with target gamblers. As a group, these have the potential to encourage RESPONSIBLE gambling behaviour and to issue the INTERNAL response to evaluate their gambling activity. HAVE YOU SPENT MORE MONEY ON GAMBLING THAN YOU INTENDED and ARE YOU GAMBLING LONGER THAN PLANNED are both TRIGGERS with almost universal application to the gambling population. Both these messages then lead on to the third, HAVE YOU FELT BAD OR GUILTY ABOUT YOUR GAMBLING, as the result of the over-indulgence of time and money spent on gambling. These messages are the most effective of those tested as they act as triggers for gamblers to question their behaviour. The EFFECTIVENESS of these messages however, is somewhat limited, when considering their ability to issue a call-to-action to assess regular and problem gamblers' current behaviour and then to consider a change in the future.

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