Social responsibility tools in online gambling: a survey of attitudes and behavior among Internet gamblers

Mark D Griffiths, Richard T A Wood, Jonathan Parke
Cyberpsychology & Behavior 2009, 12 (4): 413-21
To date, little empirical research has focused on social responsibility in gambling. This study examined players' attitudes and behavior toward using the social responsibility tool PlayScan designed by the Swedish gaming company Svenska Spel. Via PlayScan, players have the option to utilize various social responsibility control tools (e.g., personal gaming budgets, self-diagnostic tests of gambling habits, self-exclusion options). A total of 2,348 participants took part in an online questionnaire study. Participants were clientele of the Svenska Spel online gambling Web site. Results showed that just over a quarter of players (26%) had used PlayScan. The vast majority of those who had activated PlayScan (almost 9 in 10 users) said that PlayScan was easy to use. Over half of PlayScan users (52%) said it was useful; 19% said it was not. Many features were seen as useful by online gamblers, including limit setting (70%), viewing their gambling profile (49%), self-exclusion facilities (42%), self-diagnostic problem gambling tests (46%), information and support for gambling issues (40%), and gambling profile predictions (36%). In terms of actual (as opposed to theoretical) use, over half of PlayScan users (56%) had set spending limits, 40% had taken a self-diagnostic problem gambling test, and 17% had used a self-exclusion feature.

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