The implementation of a mandatory loss limit is the way to go if the gambling industry really wants to amp up its social responsibility practices, Stockholm University researcher Ekaterina Ivanova said in a study on the topic.
Ms. Ivanova has been researching gambling responsibility in the Swedish capital for the past four years and her research project was funded by Åland Islands-based gambling operator Paf.
Ms. Ivanova’s work has been focused on gambling, gaming limits, gamblers’ behavior, attitudes towards various socially responsible gaming tools, and the likelihood of predicting gambling-related problems.
According to the Stockholm University scholar, research into problems prompted by excessive gambling has been falling behind. She said that the industry and those researching it are falling behind with both “prevention and treatment from a public health prospective” and that gambling problems are not taken as seriously as alcohol abuse, for example.
Ms. Ivanova believes that those affected by problem gambling or gambling addiction are still seen more as people suffering from a character problem rather than a disease.
Voluntary Gaming Limits Do Not Produce Desired Results
Part of Ms. Ivanova’s research focused on gaming limits and whether voluntary limits were effective enough. Using industry data, the researcher found out that “voluntary gaming limits just don’t seem to produce a desirable effect” and that all the evidence she has collected over the past four years supports her claim.
Ms. Ivanova said that gambling companies can continue to claim that they do business in a socially responsible manner and that the poor research material on gambling responsibility enables them to do so.
However, there is no concrete current evidence to back any claim that the gambling responsibility tools widely utilized by the industry produce the desired results.
According to the Stockholm University researcher, the mandatory loss limit currently implemented by Paf is definitely a step in the right direction and should be thoroughly tested by more gambling operators.
Paf Provides Data for Responsibility Research
As mentioned earlier, gambling operator Paf funded Ms. Ivanova’s research. The company also provided the researcher with access to real data from the online gambling activities it conducts.
Commenting on Ms. Ivanova’s project and the company’s participation, Paf Deputy CEO and Chief Responsibility Officer Daniela Johansson said that they are proud to have contributed to “taking the research into gaming responsibility one step further.”
Ms. Johansson went on that Ms. Ivanova’s research “can help us all gain a better understanding of the tools and methods that are proven to provide better gaming responsibility.”
A few years ago, Paf implemented a mandatory annual loss limit of €30,000 across its operations as a measure that they believed was good for their customers and the most effective thing to do. The company announced this past October that it would lower the loss limit to €25,000. The new limit became effective in January.