JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Effects of Pop-up Harm Minimisation Messages on Electronic Gaming Machine Gambling Behaviour in New Zealand

Katie Palmer du Preez, Jason Landon, Maria Bellringer, Nick Garrett, Max Abbott
Journal of Gambling Studies 2016, 32 (4): 1115-1126
27038467
In New Zealand a simple pop-up message feature that provides gambling session information and forces a break in play is mandatory on all electronic gaming machines in all venues (EGMs). Previous research has demonstrated small effects of more sophisticated pop-up messages tested predominantly in laboratory environments. The present research examined gambler engagement with and views on the New Zealand pop-up messages and on the relationship between pop-up messages and EGM expenditure. A sample of gamblers was recruited at casino and non-casino (pub) EGM venues. Most participants were aware of pop-up messages (57 %) and many saw them often (38 %). Among gamblers who reported seeing pop-up messages, half read the message content, and a quarter believed that pop-up messages helped them control the amount of money they spend on gambling. Participants who reported being likely to stop gambling in response to pop-up messages spent significantly less money on gambling when variables that were independently associated with EGM expenditure were controlled for. A modest harm minimisation effect of the pop-up message feature that has been operating in New Zealand for 5 years was evident. Suggestions for improvement of the harm minimisation potential of the current pop-up message feature are discussed.

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