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Theoretical Loss and Gambling Intensity: A Simulation Study

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Abstract

Many recent studies of internet gambling—particularly those that have analysed behavioural tracking data—have used variables such as ‘bet size’ and ‘number of games played’ as proxy measures for ‘gambling intensity.’ In this paper, it is argued that the best and most stable measure for Gambling Intensity is the ‘Theoretical Loss’ (a product of total bet size and house advantage). In the long run, Theoretical Loss corresponds with the Gross Gaming Revenue generated by commercial gaming operators. For shorter periods of time, Theoretical Loss is the most stable measure of gambling intensity as it is not distorted by gamblers’ occasional wins. Even for single bets, the Theoretical Loss reflects the amount a player is willing to risk. Using a simulation study, with up to 300,000 players playing as many as 13 different games, this paper demonstrates that the bet size and the number of games do not explain the theoretical loss entirely. In fact, there is a large proportion of variance which remains unexplained by measures of ‘bet size’ and ‘number of games’ played. Bet size and the number of games played do not equate to or explain theoretical loss, as neither of these two measures takes into account the house advantage.

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... A lower quotient represents more frequent wins per wagers in a game (i.e., fewer wagers needed to obtain a win of any size). • Theoretical loss: The theoretical loss is the amount of money the player would have lost based on the actual amount of money wagered and the game's RTP (Auer, Schneeberger & Griffiths, 2012). The underlying computation for theoretical loss is the amount of money bet multiplied by 1 minus RTP. ...
... Gambling behavior was measured utilizing the number of bets and the theoretical loss in a game session. The theoretical loss was chosen based on the simulation study by Auer, Schneeberger and Griffiths (2012). They concluded that theoretical loss is a more reliable measure of gambling intensity than bet size. ...
... In line with Auer et al. (2012), theoretical loss appears to be a more valid metric of gambling intensity than the number of bets made. The theoretical loss reflects the amount a player would have lost given the amount wagered and the RTP of the respective game. ...
Article
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Structural characteristics of games have been regarded as important aspects in the possible development of problematic gambling. The most important factors along with individual susceptibility and risk factors of the individual gambler are the structural characteristics such as the speed and frequency of the game (and more specifically event frequency, bet frequency, event duration, and payout interval). To date, the association between structural characteristics and behavior has not been studied in an online gambling environment. The present study investigated the association between structural characteristics and online gambling behavior in an ecologically valid setting using data from actual gamblers. The authors were given access to data from a large European online gambling operator with players from Germany, Austria, UK, Poland, and Slovenia. The sample comprised 763,490 sessions between November 27, 2020 and April 15, 2021 utilizing data from 43,731 players. A machine learning tree-based algorithm with structural characteristics and session metrics explained 26% of the variance of the number of games played in a session. The results also showed that only 7.7% of the variance in the number of bets placed in a session was explained by the game's structural characteristics alone. The most important structural characteristic with respect to the number of games played in a session was the event frequency of the game followed by the maximum amount won on a single bet in a session.
... To Auer and Griffiths (2015b), gambling intensity and gambling involvement are essentially the same concept descriptors of gambling activity, although they mention in a response to Braverman, Tom, and Shaffer (2013) that gambling involvement is a vague concept. To these researchers Auer, Schneeberger, & Griffiths, 2012), the most consistent measure for gambling intensity, or the amount risked by a player, is what they dubbed ''theoretical loss,'' which reflects a player's risk propensity. Notably, although they consider the constructs of gambling intensity and gambling involvement to be equivalent when assessing gambling activity, they also mention that theoretical loss measures only monetary gambling intensity (Auer & Griffiths, 2014a, 2015b. ...
... Griffiths and Whitty (2010) add that problem gambling can be identified without the need to assess the negative psychosocial consequences of problem gambling and even before being detected by empirical research, which can be used to trigger an online intervention (Griffiths, 2009). This method has many advantages, one of the most immediate being the possibility to objectively monitor and examine individual gambling behaviour on a particular website (Auer et al., 2012;Griffiths & Auer, 2011) at relatively small expense (Adami et al., 2013). Other advantages include the possibility of recording players' individual gambling behaviour to later analyze it and allowing the analysis of big data in large sample sizes (Auer & Griffiths, 2014a;Griffiths & Auer, 2011). ...
... Other advantages include the possibility of recording players' individual gambling behaviour to later analyze it and allowing the analysis of big data in large sample sizes (Auer & Griffiths, 2014a;Griffiths & Auer, 2011). In addition, real gambling behaviour analysis provides researchers with the ability to track site visitors as they gamble and enables the analysis of the actual environment and conditions under which gamblers place wagers, which can be revisited after the event itself has finished , 2014aAuer et al., 2012). ...
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This paper reviews and analyzes studies that are focused on Internet gambling withthe use of behavioural tracking and big data to identify gambling behaviour. Thebehaviour of gamblers has been extensively studied and much has been published onthe subject. The vast majority of research has relied on self-reported gamblingbehaviour or case study research. With the advent of the Internet, however, it hasbecome possible for researchers to remotely study the real behaviour of gamblers.The goal has been to empirically describe playing behaviour in several conditionsand contexts. Existing research, conducted since the 2000s, focuses on several formsof gambling such as sports betting, casino, poker, and lottery, but there is still only aconcise body of research on gambling behaviour with the use of Internet gamblingtracking data. Most studies are based on the same databases, meaning that a fewcompanies and websites were the basis for most of the research produced so far. It isimportant to explore new sources of information, methodologies, and approaches toenrich discussion and contribute to a better understanding of thisfield. The empiricalanalysis of gambling behaviour with the use of tracking data was found to greatlycontribute to the understanding of player behaviour, despite existing limitations andproblems. Considering that Internet gambling behavioural tracking is still a fairlyrecent phenomenon, much can still be done to further develop thisfield of research.
... In two recent papers involving a simulation study of 300,000 gamblers across thirteen gambling games (Auer et al. 2012), and a real study of 100,000 online gamblers across eight games (Auer and Griffiths 2013a), we introduced a new metric to help measure the monetary aspect of 'gambling intensity' in the gambling studies field. This metric is called 'Theoretical Loss' and measures the amount of money that a gambler is prepared to financially risk when playing a game. ...
... However, we have stated several times in our recent publications (Auer and Griffiths 2013a, b;Auer et al. 2012) that gambling intensity is simply defined as the amount of money that a player is willing to risk (using the metric of Theoretical Loss). We admit that part of the misunderstanding probably stems from the lack of explicitly stating the monetary aspect of Theoretical Loss and we would like to emphasize here that our metric is a measure of monetary gambling intensity. ...
... In this paper, we have provided a brief response to Braverman et al. (2013b) critique of our paper about the concept of Theoretical Loss (Auer and Griffiths 2013a;Auer et al. 2012). In this paper, we have clarified that 'gambling intensity' specifically relates to the amount of money that a player is prepared to risk financially as measured using our metric of Theoretical Loss. ...
Article
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In this paper, we provide a brief response to Braverman et al. (J Gambl Stud. doi: 10.1007/s10899-013-9428-z , 2013b) critique of our 'Theoretical Loss' metric as a measure of monetary gambling intensity (Auer and Griffiths in J Gambl Stud. doi: 10.1007/s10899-013-9376-7 , 2013a; Auer et al. in Gaming Law Rev Econ 16:269-273, 2012). We argue that 'gambling intensity' and 'gambling involvement' are essentially the same construct as descriptors of monetary gambling activity. Additionally, we acknowledge that playing duration (i.e., the amount of time-as opposed to money-actually spent gambling) is clearly another important indicator of gambling involvement-something that we have consistently noted in our previous studies including our empirical studies on gambling using behavioural tracking data. Braverman and colleagues claim that the concept of Theoretical Loss is nullified when statistical analysis focuses solely on one game type as the house edge is constant across all games. In fact, they state, the correlation between total amount wagered and Theoretical Loss is perfect. Unfortunately, this is incorrect. To disprove the claim made, we demonstrate that in sports betting (i.e., a single game type), the amount wagered does not reflect monetary gambling involvement using actual payout percentage data (based on 52,500 independent bets provided to us by an online European bookmaker). After reviewing the arguments presented by Braverman and colleagues, we are still of the view that when it comes to purely monetary measures of 'gambling intensity', the Theoretical Loss metric is a more robust and accurate measure than other financial proxy measures such as 'amount wagered' (i.e., bet size) as a measure of what players are prepared to financially risk while gambling.
... Discriminant validity refers to the level of discordance between a measure and the other measures that purport to measure theoretically different constructs. Auer and Griffiths (2012) focused mostly on the discriminant validity of theoretical loss compared to bet size, defined in previous studies as total amount wagered/total stakes. That is, they argue that theoretical loss is a different and more useful construct than bet size. ...
... That is, they argue that theoretical loss is a different and more useful construct than bet size. However, Auer and Griffiths (2012) importantly reported, but failed to interpret, the correlation between theoretical loss and bet size was 0.85. Contrary to their claim, this finding-that 72.2 % of the variance in one measure is explained by the other measure-provides evidence for convergent validity. ...
... Therefore, for any single game (e.g., French roulette), a correlation between bet size and theoretical loss is perfect. Auer and Griffiths (2012) criticize this single-game approach on other grounds, claiming that it is problematic because ''online gamblers typically gamble on a variety of games'' (p. 2). ...
Article
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In their review of Internet gambling studies, Auer and Griffiths (Soc Sci Comput Rev 20(3):312-320, 2013) question the validity of using bet size as an indicator of gambling intensity. Instead, Auer and Griffiths suggest using "theoretical loss" as a preferable measure of gambling intensity. This comment identifies problems with their argument and suggests a convergent rather than an exclusionary approach to Internet gambling measures and analysis.
... Another major problem with these studies is that they have tended to present data by single game type (e.g., only data from online poker players or sports bettors are presented). However, as researchers have noted (e.g., Auer et al. 2012;Wardle et al. 2011) online gamblers typically gamble on a variety of games. ...
... A recent paper using a simulation study by Auer et al. (2012) demonstrated that the most robust and stable measure for 'gambling intensity' is the 'theoretical loss'. Their paper showed that all previous studies using proxy measures for 'gambling intensity' had failed to take into account the house advantage. ...
... As Auer et al. (2012) point out, games with a high house advantage lead to higher player losses and games with a low house advantage lead to lower player losses. Theoretical loss is the same measure that the gaming industry describes as Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). ...
Article
Many recent studies of internet gambling-particularly those that have analysed behavioural tracking data-have used variables such 'bet size' and 'number of games played' as proxy measures for 'gambling intensity'. In this paper it is argued that the most stable and reliable measure for 'gambling intensity' is the 'theoretical loss' (a product of total bet size and house advantage). In the long run, the theoretical loss corresponds with the Gross Gaming Revenue generated by commercial gaming operators. For shorter periods of time, theoretical loss is the most stable measure of gambling intensity as it is not distorted by gamblers' occasional wins. Even for single bets, the theoretical loss reflects the amount a player is willing to risk. Using behavioural tracking data of 100,000 players who played online casino, lottery and/or poker games, this paper also demonstrates that bet size does not equate to or explain theoretical loss as it does not take into account the house advantage. This lack of accuracy is shown to be even more pronounced for gamblers who play a variety of games.
... Monetary spending was measured via theoretical loss. As shown in a recent study (i.e., Auer and Griffiths 2012), the theoretical loss is the most accurate and robust indicator of gambling intensity with regard to monetary involvement. The theoretical loss is computed as the product of bet size and house-advantage for each game being played. ...
... The theoretical loss is computed as the product of bet size and house-advantage for each game being played. As Auer and Griffiths (2012) have demonstrated, the theoretical loss should always be used when gamblers with different gambling habits are being compared in terms of their involvement. Other studies have wrongly used bet size and the number of games as a proxy measure of gambling intensity (Griffiths and Auer 2011). ...
... There are, of course, many limitations with behavioural tracking data. As Auer and Griffiths (2012) have noted, behavioural tracking data (1) collects data from only one gambling site and says nothing about the person's online gambling in general (as online gamblers typically gamble on more than one site), (2) always comes from unrepresentative samples (i.e., the players that use one particular internet gambling site), (3) does not account for the fact that more than one person can use a particular account, and (4) says nothing about why people gamble or why they engage in a particular online activity (such as limit setting). Another limitation is that once players reach their money or time limit, they may simply go and gamble on other online gambling websites. ...
Article
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Social responsibility in gambling has become a major issue for the gaming industry. The possibility for online gamblers to set voluntary time and money limits are a social responsibility practice that is now widespread among online gaming operators. The main issue concerns whether the voluntary setting of such limits has any positive impact on subsequent gambling behaviour and whether such measures are of help to problem gamblers. In this paper, this issue is examined through data collected from a representative random sample of 100,000 players who gambled on the win2day gambling website. When opening an account at the win2day site, there is a mandatory requirement for all players to set time and cash-in limits (that cannot exceed 800 per week). During a 3-month period, all voluntary time and/or money limit setting behaviour by a subsample of online gamblers (n = 5,000) within this mandatory framework was tracked and recorded for subsequent data analysis. From the 5,000 gamblers, the 10 % most intense players (as measured by theoretical loss) were further investigated. Voluntary spending limits had the highest significant effect on subsequent monetary spending among casino and lottery gamblers. Monetary spending among poker players significantly decreased after setting a voluntary time limit. The highest significant decrease in playing duration was among poker players after setting a voluntary playing duration limit. The results of the study demonstrated that voluntary limit setting had a specific and significant effect on the studied gamblers. Therefore, voluntary limits appear to show an appropriate effect in the desired target group (i.e., the most gaming intense players).
... Over 12 months, participants in the telephone group showed a 30% reduction in theoretic loss, the letter group 13%, and both outperformed the control group having a 7% reduction. Theoretical loss (TL) is the actual cost to the individual taking the house advantage for the type of gambling into account 2 (Auer et al. 2012). Significantly more in telephone condition lowered their loss limits (one of the responsible gambling options for customers) during the year after intervention than the letter and control group. ...
... Theoretic loss (TL) was the primary outcome variable. TL reflects the actual cost taking the house advantage into account (Auer et al. 2012). TL is calculated as wager x (1-pay back percentage) per game type. ...
Article
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Telephone and letter-based motivational interventions with high expenditure gamblers have significant short and long term positive effects on gambling and use of responsible gambling tools. This report examines how different subtypes of gamblers, based upon patterns of play, are differentially affected. A randomized controlled trial design with three conditions (n = 1003 in each): feedback intervention by letter, telephone or a no-contact control condition. Subtypes of gamblers were derived by latent class analyses (LCA) based upon gambling behavior pre intervention. The participants were customers of Norsk Tipping gambling platforms. 1003 statistical triplets from the top 0.5% of customers based upon annual expenditure, matched on sex, age, and net losses. Primary outcome measure was gambling theoretical loss (TL), derived from the Norsk Tipping customer database. The LCA identified six subtypes: High Casino, High Sport, High Lottery, High Video lottery terminal (VLT), Lottery/Mix and Bingo/Casino. There were almost no differences in change in TL between the six subtypes of gamblers receiving the letter or telefone interventions respectively. However, the choice of contact by letter or telephone did have different effects for the different gambling subtypes. Sending a letter seems like a cost effective alternative to telephone contact for the High Lottery type, but telephone contact performs better for High Casino, High Sport and High VLT customers. Responsible gambling interventions can be improved by subtyping of gamblers.
... Game categories were developed similar to other research in the gambling studies field (Auer et al., 2012;Gainsbury et al., 2012). The eight game types available on the gambling operator's website are Lottery Draw, Lottery Instant, Poker, Bingo, Casino Slots, Casino Videopoker, Casino Table, and Sports Wagering. ...
... Theoretical loss is a concept that was developed by Auer et al. (2012), and has been empirically shown as a robust and stable measure of monetary gambling intensity. For instance, an empirical study by Auer and Griffiths (2013b) showed that the TL is a much more accurate indicator of monetary gambling intensity than proxy measures such as bet size and the number of bets made. ...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few years, online gambling has become a more common leisure time activity. However, for a small minority, the activity can become problematic. Consequently, the gambling industry has started to acknowledge their role in player protection and harm minimization and some gambling companies have introduced responsible gambling tools as a way of helping players stay in control. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of mentor (a responsible gambling tool that provides personalized feedback to players) among 1,015 online gamblers at a European online gambling site, and compared their behavior with matched controls (n = 15,216) on the basis of age, gender, playing duration, and theoretical loss (i.e., the amount of money wagered multiplied by the payout percentage of a specific game played). The results showed that online gamblers receiving personalized feedback spent significantly less time and money gambling compared to controls that did not receive personalized feedback. The results suggest that responsible gambling tools providing personalized feedback may help the clientele of gambling companies gamble more responsibly, and may be of help those who gamble excessively to stay within their personal time and money spending limits.
... Game categories were developed similar to other research in the gambling studies field (Auer et al., 2012;Gainsbury et al., 2012). The eight game types available on the gambling operator's website are Lottery Draw, Lottery Instant, Poker, Bingo, Casino Slots, Casino Videopoker, Casino Table, and Sports Wagering. ...
... Theoretical loss is a concept that was developed by Auer et al. (2012), and has been empirically shown as a robust and stable measure of monetary gambling intensity. For instance, an empirical study by Auer and Griffiths (2013b) showed that the TL is a much more accurate indicator of monetary gambling intensity than proxy measures such as bet size and the number of bets made. ...
Article
Over the last few years, online gambling has become a more common leisure time activity. However, for a small minority, the activity can become problematic. Consequently, the gambling industry has started to acknowledge their role in player protection and harm minimization and some gambling companies have introduced responsible gambling tools as a way of helping players stay in control. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of mentor (a responsible gambling tool that provides personalized feedback to players) among 1,015 online gamblers at a European online gambling site, and compared their behavior with matched controls (n=15,216) on the basis of age, gender, playing duration, and theoretical loss (i.e., the amount of money wagered multiplied by the payout percentage of a specific game played). The results showed that online gamblers receiving personalized feedback spent significantly less time and money gambling compared to controls that did not receive personalized feedback. The results suggest that responsible gambling tools providing personalized feedback may help the clientele of gambling companies gamble more responsibly, and may be of help those who gamble excessively to stay within their personal time and money spending limits.
... Theoretical loss is computed as amount of money wagered multiplied by the house advantage for each game which was played(Auer et al., 2012). ...
Article
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Player protection has become an important area for the gambling industry over the past decade. A number of gambling regulators now require gambling operators to interact with customers if they suspect they are gambling in a problematic way. The present study provided insight on the impact of personalized feedback interventions (PFIs) on subsequent gambling behavior among a Dutch sample of real-world gamblers. Nederlandse Loterij (the national Dutch Lottery operator) provided access to a secondary dataset comprising tracking data from online casino and sports betting gamblers (N = 2,576) who were contacted either by e-mail or telephone between November 2021 and March 2022 if they showed signs of problematic gambling as identified using behavioral tracking software. Compared to matched controls (n = 369,961 gamblers), Dutch gamblers who received a PFI (via e-mail [n = 1876] or a telephone call [n = 700]) from the gambling operator had a significant reduction in amount of money deposited, amount of money wagered, number of monetary deposits, and time spent gambling in the 30 days after being contacted. Gambling frequency as measured by the number of gambling days did not change significantly after a PFI. Telephone calls did not lead to a significant larger reduction with respect to the aforementioned behavioral metrics. High-intensity players reduced their gambling behavior as frequently as low-intensity players, which means that the intervention’s success was independent of gambling intensity. The impact on subsequent gambling was the same across age groups and gender. The results of the present study are of use to many different stakeholder groups including researchers in the gambling studies field and the gambling industry as well as regulators and policymakers who can recommend or enforce that gambling operators utilize responsible gambling tools such as using PFIs to those who may be displaying problematic gambling behaviors as a way of minimizing harm and protecting gamblers.
... Limits were available across most of the operators, almost half offered session-time reminders, and almost all offered self-exclusion options, through customer service or online application. Consistency across different operators would help as most gamblers use more than one online gambling account (Auer & Griffiths, 2012), and therefore having consistent RG tools being used by different gambling operators would help in minimizing harm. Moreover, RG tools not only increase customer trust, but also result in less disputes due to gambling issues (Gainsbury et al., 2013). ...
Article
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Online gambling is a growing business with many stakeholders. Due to the fact that a small proportion of gamblers develop problems, responsible gambling (RG), player protection, and harm minimization have become core areas for gambling regulators. The present study replicated a previous one carried out by Bonello and Griffiths in 2017 to determine whether there had been any significant changes by leading gambling operators due to increased regulatory pressures over the past few years. Fifty leading online gambling operators were audited in relation to their RG practices as well as engaging with their customer services by posing as a problem gambler. Results indicated that overall RG practices appeared to have improved in the past 3 years based on the information in dedicated RG webpages, the increase in RG tool availability, and the communication with customer services. Despite the fact that RG practices appear to have improved, there were still areas for improvement.
... Data from online behavioral tracking can be used to assess gambling intensity by players. An initial simulation study by Auer, Schneeberger and Griffiths [35] of 300,000 gamblers developed 'theoretical loss', a metric that can be used to calculate gambling intensity and comprises of the amount of money wagered, multiplied by the probability of winning on the particular type of gambling activity. This metric was then tested on a real customer sample of 100,000 online gamblers using their tracking data. ...
Article
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Online gambling has continued to grow alongside new ways to analyze data using behavioral tracking as a way to enhance consumer protection. A number of studies have analyzed consumers that have used voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) as a proxy measure for problem gambling. However, some scholars have argued that this is a poor proxy for problem gambling. Therefore, the present study examined this issue by analyzing customers (from the gambling operator Unibet) that have engaged in VSE. The participants comprised of costumers that chose to use the six-month VSE option (n = 7732), and customers that chose to close their Unibet account due to a specific self-reported gambling addiction (n = 141). Almost one-fifth of the customers that used six-month VSE only had gambling activity for less than 24 h (19.15%). Moreover, half of the customers had less than seven days of account registration prior to six-month VSE (50.39%). Customers who use VSE are too different to be treated as a homogenous group and therefore VSE is not a reliable proxy measure for problem gambling. The findings of this research are beneficial for operators, researchers, and policymakers because it provides insight into gambling behavior by analyzing real player behavior using tracking technologies, which is objective and unbiased.
... Those that have, have mainly focused on strategies used to limit money spent on gambling [4,[21][22][23][24]. For instance, setting monetary limits in advance of gambling is a popular strategy [21,23,25,26]. A mixed-methods study by Rodda et al. found that most EGM (electronic gaming machine) players adopted one or more strategies when planning their gambling activities, such as setting a monetary limit prior to gambling, bringing an exact amount of cash, and not bringing credit cards [24]. ...
Article
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There is limited research exploring the perceptions of people who gamble on the self-control strategies used to limit their gambling. This qualitative study examines self-control strategies used to limit money spent gambling, frequency of gambling, and time spent gambling. A total of 56 people who gamble (27 males and 29 females) participated in nine focus groups and five individual interviews in Montreal, Calgary, and Toronto (Canada). Self-control strategies used to limit their gambling expenditure were more common than frequency or time limiting strategies. Strategies to limit expenditure included: restricting access to money; keeping track of money allocated to gambling activities; and avoiding certain types of gambling activities. Various contextual factors were identified to influence those strategies, including social influences; winning or losing; using substances. Findings from this study emphasize the importance of communicating clear gambling limits to people who gamble, as well as the value of developing individual self-control strategies to limit frequency, time and money spent gambling.
... Auer et Griffiths (2013a, b) ont évalué l'efficacité d'un système de feedback comportemental appelé Mentor dans sa capacité à influencer le temps de jeu et les « pertes théoriques » des joueurs (n = 5000 joueurs en ligne). Les pertes théoriques font référence au montant des paris multiplié par le taux de retour aux joueurs d'un type de jeu spécifique (Auer, Schneeberger, & Griffiths, 2012). Elles sont considérées comme une mesure robuste et stable de l'intensité des montants de jeu (plus que des mesures indirectes comme le montant des enjeux ou le nombre de paris effectués) . ...
Article
Résumé Initialement conçue comme une alternative aux approches basées sur l’abstinence, la réduction des risques avait pour objectif initial de réduire les conséquences sanitaires de l’usage de drogue. Appliquée à l’ensemble des conduites addictives (avec ou sans substances), elle vise aujourd’hui à réduire les problèmes individuels et sociaux générés par l’addiction sans condamner le comportement. La réduction des risques est très pauvre dans le domaine des jeux de hasard et d’argent. Cependant, la légalisation des jeux de hasard et d’argent en ligne ainsi que la spécificité de ces jeux et leur fort potentiel addictogène met en exergue la nécessité de penser des outils spécifiques de jeu responsable. L’objectif de cet article est de dresser un état des lieux du savoir existant, qu’il ait été testé empiriquement ou non, en milieu écologique ou en situation expérimentale, quant aux outils permettant au joueur de rester dans un contrôle de son comportement de jeu. Une réflexion sur les futures recherches et les autres outils possibles de réduction des risques est envisagée.
... Furthermore, the present study used amount wagered as a proxy for gambling intensity (which some studies have used as a proxy for problem gambling). However, previous studies have shown that amount wagered does not account for all the variance in gambling intensity Auer, Schneeberger, & Griffiths, 2012), and players with high gambling intensity may not necessarily be problem gamblers. ...
... Limits of these approaches are associated to invisible end-users who may share their online accounts with others or use numerous accounts in more operators (35,36). Self-imposed limits, selfexclusions, account terminations, and reasons behind are often the only available indicators of emerging problem which reduces validity of such studies (37). ...
Article
Objective: Recent developments in online lotteries and betting and in digitalization of land-based gambling devices bring new opportunities to track behaviour of individual players and to identify and address developing problem in its initial stages. Early identification of gambling disorder allows for timely intervention and increases the likelihood of successful recovery and minimises harms. Our review aims to examine what on-site strategies are available in both online and offline gambling venues to early identify and address the developing gambling problem while also assessing their effectiveness and strength of the evidence. Methods: We searched main academic databases and other internet resources and collected 67 peer-reviewed papers and grey literature documents that describe one or more such strategies. Results: Available measures ranged from information provision, gambling behaviour surveillance and associated personalized interventions to setting limits and self-exclusion. Conclusions: Although a number of methods how to address disordered gambling are available to gambling operators, there is still insufficient evidence about the validity and reliability of identification strategies and about effectiveness of the intervention methods.
... Theoretical loss (TL) was the primary outcome variable. TL reflects the actual cost, taking the house advantage into account [22]. Actual expenditure data were obtained from the NT database for each type of game. 1 TL is calculated as wager X (1-pay back percentage) per game type. ...
Article
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Background and aims: A previous randomized controlled trial demonstrated that phone and letter-based motivational interventions with high expenditure gamblers had significant short-term positive effects on gambling and use of responsible gambling tools. This post-trial follow-up examined outcomes in gambling expenditure over 12 months. Design: Observational study following a three-arm randomized controlled trial. Setting: Customers of Norsk Tipping (NT) gambling platforms, Norway. Participants: 1,003 statistical triplets from the top 0.5% of customers based upon annual expenditure, matched on sex, age, and net losses. Mean age 53.4 years, 19% were women, mean yearly loss for 2016 was 88,197 NoK. Interventions and comparator Feedback intervention by telephone, letter, or a no-contact control condition. Measurements: Primary outcome measure was gambling theoretical loss, derived from the Norsk Tipping customer database. Secondary outcomes were responsible gambling customer actions and whether the participant was retained as a NT customer. Findings: Per protocol analyses of triplets who received the phone call or letter as randomly assigned (n=596) showed a positive and sustained effect over 12 months: the telephone group showed a 30% reduction in theoretic loss (d=.44) and the letter group 13% (d=.18), both outperforming the control group with a 7% reduction (d=.11). The phone condition was superior to both the letter and control conditions in per protocol (p<.001) and to control condition in intention to treat analyses (ITT) (p<.001). Individuals in the phone condition took more responsible gambling actions. The letter condition had better outcomes than the control in the ITT only (p<.001). Over 93% were still customers a year after the intervention. Conclusions: Personal contact with high expenditure gambling customers in Norway that provided individualized feedback on expenditures was associated with reduced theoretical losses and greater use of responsible gambling tools over a 12-month period, compared with no contact. Telephone intervention with customers had a larger impact than a mailed letter.
... Given an estimated 5 percent overall house advantage, it can be estimated that the two latter reported values represent a theoretical loss of e15 and e85 (theoretical loss is a measure of ''gambling intensity'' and is calculated by multiplying the amount of money wagered with the house advantage). 12,13 Effects of limit-setting (age and gender) ...
Article
Online gambling has become increasingly popular but for a small minority of players can be problematic (∼5 percent). Many socially responsible online gambling operators have introduced responsible gambling tools to help their players stay in control of their gambling such as monetary limit-setting (in which gamblers predetermine the amount of money they want to spend per day/week/month on gambling). Despite the widespread introduction of such tools, few studies have evaluated their efficacy. This study comprised of an anonymized dataset of 49,560 players who had placed at least one wager with the online gambling operator Kindred. The primary aim of the study was to examine whether the setting of voluntary monetary limits (independent variable) had any effect on online gambling expenditure over a 1-year period (dependent variable). The secondary aim was to examine whether there were any differences in gambling expenditure by gender, age, or gambling intensity ("gambling intensity" was simply operationalized as the total amount of money wagered during a 3-month period). Results demonstrated that there were no differences with regard to age and gender but that among the most gambling-intense players, those who had voluntarily set limits gambled significantly less money a year later compared with those who had not. Given that those individuals with the highest gambling intensity are more likely to comprise problem gamblers, limit-setting appears to be an effective responsible gambling tool because the top 10 percent of most gambling-intense individuals in this study significantly reduced their gambling expenditure over a 1-year period.
... In a simulation study of 300,000 gamblers, Auer et al. (2012) developed a measure to assess gambling intensity to which they refer to as 'theoretical loss' which is done by simply multiplying stake size by the probability of winning. This was then tested by Auer and Griffiths (2014) on a real sample of 100,000 online gamblers and they demonstrated theoretical loss is a robust and reliable measure of gambling intensity. ...
... The use of theoretical loss has been debated (Tom & Shaffer, 2016). However, the rationale for using theoretical loss instead of actual loss is that the latter could be influenced by large winnings (Auer et al., 2014;Auer, Schneeberger, & Griffiths, 2012). ...
Article
Gambling disorder is a public health issue in many countries, and expectations that the gambling industry protects individuals from harm are increasing. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effects of providing personalized feedback on gambling intensity among high consumers of venue-based and online gambling in Norway. A randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate how behavioral feedback by telephone or letters sent via surface mail affects subsequent gambling expenditure and use of responsible gambling tools and whether a follow-up contact increases the effect. Gambling expenditure, the primary outcome, was measured using theoretical loss, which is the actual cost to the player, adjusted for the house advantage. From the top .5% of customers based upon annual expenditure, a sample of 1,003 statistical triplets, matched on sex, age, and net losses, were randomly assigned to the feedback intervention by telephone, letter, or a no-contact control condition. Participants assigned to the phone call or letter were also randomly assigned to receive or not receive a subsequent follow-up contact. The results showed that over 12 weeks, theoretical loss decreased 29% for the phone and 15% for the letter conditions, compared with 3% for the control group. A positive effect of the follow-up contact was limited to participants who at the initial call indicated an interest in receiving a follow-up call. Contacting high consumers about their gambling expenditure appears to be an effective method for gambling companies to meet their duty to care for customers.
... The use of theoretical loss has been debated (Tom & Shaffer, 2016). However, the rationale for using theoretical loss instead of actual loss is that the latter could be influenced by large winnings (Auer et al., 2014;Auer, Schneeberger, & Griffiths, 2012). ...
Article
Gambling disorder is a public health issue in many countries, and expectations that the gambling industry protects individuals from harm are increasing. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effects of providing personalized feedback on gambling intensity among high consumers of venue-based and online gambling in Norway. A randomized controlled trial design was used to evaluate how behavioral feedback by telephone or letters sent via surface mail affects subsequent gambling expenditure and use of responsible gambling tools and whether a follow-up contact increases the effect. Gambling expenditure, the primary outcome, was measured using theoretical loss, which is the actual cost to the player, adjusted for the house advantage. From the top .5% of customers based upon annual expenditure, a sample of 1,003 statistical triplets, matched on sex, age, and net losses, were randomly assigned to the feedback intervention by telephone, letter, or a no-contact control condition. Participants assigned to the phone call or letter were also randomly assigned to receive or not receive a subsequent follow-up contact. The results showed that over 12 weeks, theoretical loss decreased 29% for the phone and 15% for the letter conditions, compared with 3% for the control group. A positive effect of the follow-up contact was limited to participants who at the initial call indicated an interest in receiving a follow-up call. Contacting high consumers about their gambling expenditure appears to be an effective method for gambling companies to meet their duty to care for customers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... Personalized feedback that informs gamblers about their past playing behavior incorporating a longer time period than just the current session has been empirically investigated in three real-world studies using behavioral tracking data Griffiths 2015b, 2016a;Wohl et al. 2017). Auer and Griffiths (2015b) studied the behavior of online gamblers in relation to their voluntary use of a responsible gaming behavioral tracking tool compared with a matched control group of gamblers (that had not used the behavioral tracking tool) on the basis of age, gender, playing duration, and theoretical loss (i.e., the amount of money wagered multiplied by the payout percentage of a specific game played [Auer et al. 2012;Auer and Griffiths 2014]). The results demonstrated that online gamblers receiving personalized feedback spent significantly less money and time gambling in comparison to those that did not receive personalized feedback (i.e., the matched controls). ...
Article
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Providing personalized feedback about the amount of money that gamblers have actually spent may—in some cases—result in cognitive dissonance due to the mismatch between what gamblers actually spent and what they thought they had spent. In the present study, the participant sample (N = 11,829) was drawn from a Norwegian population that had played at least one game for money in the past six months on the Norsk Tipping online gambling website. Players were told that they could retrieve personalized information about the amount of money they had lost over the previous 6-month period. Out of the 11,829 players, 4045 players accessed information about their personal gambling expenditure and were asked whether they thought the amount they lost was (i) more than expected, (ii) about as much as expected, or (iii) less than expected. It was hypothesized that players who claimed that the amount of money lost gambling was more than they had expected were more likely to experience a state of cognitive dissonance and would attempt to reduce their gambling expenditure more than other players who claimed that the amount of money lost was as much as they expected. The overall results contradicted the hypothesis because players without any cognitive dissonance decreased their gambling expenditure more than players experiencing cognitive dissonance. However, a more detailed analysis of the data supported the hypothesis because specific playing patterns of six different types of gambler using a machine-learning tree algorithm explained the paradoxical overall result.
... Personalized feedback which informs players about their past behavior and incorporates a longer time period than just the current session has only been empirically researched in one real-world study to date. Auer and Griffiths (2015b) studied the behavior of 1,015 online gamblers in connection with their voluntary use of a responsible gaming behavioral tracking tool compared with 15,216 matched control group gamblers (that had not used the behavioral tracking tool) on the basis of age, gender, playing duration, and theoretical loss (TL) [i.e., the amount of money wagered multiplied by the payout percentage of a specific game played (Auer et al., 2012;]. The results showed that online gamblers receiving personalized feedback spent significantly less money and time gambling in comparison to those that did not receive personalized feedback (i.e., the matched controls). ...
Article
Responsible gambling tools (e.g., limit-setting tools, pop-up messages, and personalized feedback) have become increasingly popular as a way of facilitating players to gamble in a more responsible manner. However, relatively few studies have evaluated whether such tools actually work. The present study examined whether the use of three types of information (i.e., personalized feedback, normative feedback, and/or a recommendation) could enable players to gamble more responsibly as assessed using three measures of gambling behavior, i.e., theoretical loss (TL), amount of money wagered, and gross gaming revenue (GGR) (i.e., net win/loss). By manipulating the three forms of information, data from six different groups of players were analyzed. The participant sample drawn from the population were those that had played at least one game for money on the Norsk Tipping online platform (Instaspill) during April 2015. A total of 17,452 players were randomly selected from 69,631 players that fulfilled the selection criteria. Of these, 5,528 players participated in the experiment. Gambling activity among the control group (who received no personalized feedback, normative feedback or no recommendation) was also compared with the other five groups that received information of some kind (personalized feedback, normative feedback and/or a recommendation). Compared to the control group, all groups that received some kind of messaging significantly reduced their gambling behavior as assessed by TL, amount of money wagered, and GGR. The results support the hypothesis that personalized behavioral feedback can enable behavioral change in gambling but that normative feedback does not appear change behavior significantly more than personalized feedback.
... Data were initially collected from a representative random sample of 100,000 players, of which 5000 had opted to use the voluntary time and/or monetary limits. The top 10 % most intense gamblers, as derived via theoretical loss (house advantage multiplied by amount wagered; see Auer et al. 2012), were taken from each of the sub-gambling type groups (i.e., poker, lottery, and casino games). Results showed that theoretical loss significantly decreased among the top 10 % most gaming-intense lottery players in the 30 days following all kinds of voluntary limit-setting (time and money) compared to the total theoretical loss in the 30 days prior to the implementation of limits. ...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing sophistication of gambling products afforded by electronic technologies facilitates increased accessibility to gambling, as well as encouraging rapid and continuous play. This poses several challenges from a responsible gambling perspective, in terms of facilitating player self-awareness and self-control. The same technological advancements in gambling that may facilitate a loss of control may also be used to provide responsible gambling tools and solutions to reduce gambling-related harm. Indeed, several harm-minimisation strategies have been devised that aim to facilitate self-awareness and self-control within a gambling session. Such strategies include the use of breaks in play, ‘pop-up’ messaging, limit setting, and behavioural tracking. The present paper reviews the theoretical argument underpinning the application of specific harm-minimisation tools, as well as providing one of the first critical reviews of the empirical research assessing their efficacy, in terms of influencing gambling cognitions and behaviour.
... Data were initially collected from a representative random sample of 100,000 players, of which 5000 had opted to use the voluntary time and/or monetary limits. The top 10 % most intense gamblers, as derived via theoretical loss (house advantage multiplied by amount wagered; see Auer et al. 2012), were taken from each of the sub-gambling type groups (i.e., poker, lottery, and casino games). Results showed that theoretical loss significantly decreased among the top 10 % most gaming-intense lottery players in the 30 days following all kinds of voluntary limit-setting (time and money) compared to the total theoretical loss in the 30 days prior to the implementation of limits. ...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing sophistication of gambling products afforded by electronic technologies facilitates increased accessibility to gambling, as well as encouraging rapid and continuous play. This poses several challenges from a responsible gambling perspective, in terms of facilitating player self-awareness and self-control. The same technological advancements in gambling that may facilitate a loss of control may also be used to provide responsible gambling tools and solutions to reduce gambling-related harm. Indeed, several harm-minimisation strategies have been devised that aim to facilitate self-awareness and self-control within a gambling session. Such strategies include the use of breaks in play, ‘pop-up’ messaging, limit setting, and behavioural tracking. The present paper reviews the theoretical argument underpinning the application of specific harm-minimisation tools, as well as providing one of the first critical reviews of the empirical research assessing their efficacy, in terms of influencing gambling cognitions and behaviour.
... In two papers, Auer and Griffiths introduced ''theoretical loss,'' their metric for measuring gambling intensity. First, they defined theoretical loss for a single bet as the product of the bet size and the house advantage (Auer et al. 2012). Then, they defined the total theoretical loss for a gambler over a given period of time to be the sum of the theoretical losses of all of the bets a gambler made during that time period (Auer and Griffiths 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
In their review of Internet gambling studies, Auer and Griffiths (J Gambl Stud 30(4), 879–887, 2014) question the validity of using bet size as an indicator of gambling intensity. Instead, in that review and in a response (Auer and Griffiths, J Gambl Stud 31(3), 921–931, 2015) to a previous comment (Braverman et al., J Gambl Stud 31(2), 359–366, 2015), Auer and Griffiths suggested using “theoretical loss” as a preferable measure of gambling intensity. This comment extends and advances the discussion about measures of gambling intensity. In this paper, we describe previously identified problems that Auer and Griffiths need to address to sustain theoretical loss as a viable measure of gambling intensity and add details to the discussion that demonstrate difficulties associated with the use of theoretical loss with certain gambling games.
... More recently, we were given access to large datasets of gamblers by a number of different gambling companies and have started to use their behavioural tracking data we were given to (a) develop new parameters for assessing gaming intensity such as our work on 'theoretical loss' (e.g. Auer & Griffiths, 2014a, 2014b, 2014cAuer, Schneeberger, & Griffiths, 2012), and (b) assess the impact of social responsibility features (e.g. time and money spending limits, pop-up messages) with real gamblers, in real time, on real gambling sites (e.g. ...
Article
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This brief commentary paper provides some further observations on research funding following the editorials by both Cassidy and Blaszczynski and Gainsbury. More specifically it examines (i) whether there is any fundamental difference between research funded by the gambling industry and consultancy funded by the gambling industry, (ii) the benefits of researchers working collaboratively with the gambling industry, (iii) where to draw the line between doing something that could be perceived by others (both inside and outside the gambling field) as the gambling industry has an influence on what we do, (iv) the publishing of multi-author research papers where some of the authors may have worked directly with a gaming company while others did not, and (v) the tension between an ‘ideal world’ philosophy and ‘real world’ pragmatism when it comes to the funding of gambling research.
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The promo􏰀on of responsible gambling (RG) and the preven􏰀on of problem gambling have become major topics in the gambling studies field. This has led to the introduc􏰀on of many RG and harm- minimisa􏰀on ini􏰀a􏰀ves. As gambling products become more technologically sophis􏰀cated, the same technological innova􏰀on is star􏰀ng to be used to facilitate the development of harm-minimisa􏰀on tools to assist gamblers in maintaining self-control and make ra􏰀onal and controlled gambling-related decisions.
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