In the field of player protection, there are frequent discussions about the Benefits of the various protection measures. In fact, however, the Online Casinos provide various options for Responsible Gaming. In some countries, where online gambling is already fully or partially regulated, studies have been carried out on the effects of Limits and other methods, I try to summarize the most important information once.
What types of player protection Measures are available in Online Casinos?
Most Online Casinos use different options to make the gaming behavior controllable for players. Most Online Casinos run a reality Check after an hour or 1,000 Spins by showing the player profits, losses and playing time. In extreme cases, when there are particularly strong withdrawals (very high, atypical deposits), the Online Casinos should seek direct Feedback from the players. In addition, the player can set different Limits or self-locking. There are the following options:
- Deposit limit: the maximum amount a player can Deposit into the account.
- Loss limit: the maximum loss a player can have is limited for a certain period of time. The stake is subtracted from the profit to calculate the loss.
- Wagering limits: the total amount that can be wagered on all casino games is limited. In contrast to the loss-limit, all bets will be considered, regardless of whether you have made a profit or a loss.
- Game time limits: the duration of a Session can be specified. After the time has passed, you can no longer play.
In the area of self-locking you can usually define different periods in which you can no longer visit the Casino. But you can also be blocked for life.
What do voluntary self-Restrictions bring in the Form of Limits?
One of the biggest problems when Playing is that players sometimes try to recover their losses. If the loss of control is particularly high, it is deposited several times in a few hours. Deposit limits are best to prevent this urge. However, Deposit limits are not the panacea.
In the end it can happen that you have a big profit after a few Spins. However, a player might want to continue playing because the duration was too low. Assuming that 100 euros were paid in and maybe 2,000 euros were won, the player would in the meantime hypothetically 2,000 euros more assets. If he has a Deposit limit of 100 euros, he can play undisturbed. Maybe he’ll lose everything because it’s extremely bad. In this case, in fact, the player made more than 2,000 Euro Minus, as he could theoretically have paid 2,000 Euro. Deposit limits thus only protect a player’s real assets, but not the profits made in the meantime. In this case, Protecting the actual loss, a loss limit would be the better Alternative.
Especially if you make bigger winnings in the Casino and have problems with the Gambling of winning money, you should set this Limit so that everything is not lost.
You should be careful with the betting limits. In the end, you can bet only a certain amount. If you use it, you have to pause, and it doesn’t matter if you just lost or won. It’s a good thing that you can’t play more than the amount, but most users complain about “lucky streaks”, that they would like to continue playing.
There are some studies on Limits and their functionality. However, until now, the Deposit limits have been primarily considered. In Canada, for example, Video Lottery Terminals were equipped with player cards on which you could also set Deposit limits.
A 2007 study by the market research company Focal Research with more than 400 players has already shown that the stakes per Session have declined by 15%. It was found that regular players use the Limits. It was more than 74% in the test group.
Similar investigations have also been carried out in cooperation with the online gambling provider bwin. Anja Broda from the center for clinical studies in Leipzig was mainly responsible for the study.
They had evaluated the anonymized data of 47,000 players. The condition was that the players had to register with bwin in February 2005 and had to make deposits until 2007. 92% of the players were men. Overall, the players came from 84 countries, but more than 57% from Germany. The results of more than 2 years were evaluated.
It was noticed that only 0.3% of Limit players tried to make deposits about it at all. Critics oppose the fact that 95% of players choose their Limits so high that they never reach them themselves.
There was also a study at an Austrian online gambling company Playscan, which offered lottery, casino games as well as Poker. Overall, the behavior of 5,000 players was investigated for 3 months. Over the period, you have seen more than 22,000 changes in the Limit, which shows that each player changes the Limit on average 4.4 times per month. In any case, you could find that the Limits have affected the intensity of the game behavior. This was not only apparent from the expenditure of the individual player, but also had an effect on the duration of the game.
For poker players, setting the Limits has had an even greater effect on playing time, but this is not surprising since Poker is far more time-consuming than simple slot machines.
Surveys among Playscan users on Limits revealed that 70% of players found the limits to control their gaming behavior. 20% have indicated that it is aggressive when the Limit goes down and you can’t continue playing.
Pop-Up window: A help for the reality check?
In Austria, the function of the Pop-Up window had also been investigated by the provider Playscan. In this case, after exactly 1,000 spins on the Slot one has received a notification about the current status and the playing time. Players quickly lose Track of the time they use to Play. The aim is to help him reflect on and keep in mind how long he is already involved in gambling.
This was done by examining 400,000 Sessions before the introduction with 400,000 Sessions after the introduction. The investigation revealed that only 1% of the players get the Pop-up at all. Before the introduction, only 4,220 Sessions were counted with 1,000 Spins, with exactly 5 stops after the Spin. After the introduction, 4,205 times the impressions were displayed at 400,000 Sessions. 45 Sessions stopped after exactly 1,000 turns – the dropout rate thus rose by 9 times.
Although further investigations into Pop-Ups have already been carried out, almost all of Them have similar results. In part of the players it leads to a rethinking, which is then also reflected in the playing behavior. In 2009, however, it was found that 50% of the players did not even read the news.
Personal Feedback as a measure against escalating game behavior
In Austria, a study was carried out in which the authors Michael Auer and Mark Griffiths, in collaboration with the gaming provider win2day, examined what Feedback messages can bring to the player. Usually, a Casino should recognize unusual outliers in the Deposit Behavior and when a lot of money has been deposited, also communicate with the player.
The study has not yet been published, but there are still some results that have already been published. Thus, it has been found that text messages in whatever Form, which deal with the gaming behavior in 71% of cases had an effect on the Deposit and the playing time.
Game history – a controversial Feature
Most Casinos have a history of your deposits and withdrawals and the stakes of the Games. The effectiveness of these measures is somewhat controversial. In fact, it’s supposed to open the player’s eyes and tell them how much they’ve lost in a certain period of time. However, some players may see an opposite effect, for example, if they try to compensate for losses, or if they notice that they are good at the Plus in a month, and then play more because they have not yet reached their asset loss Limit.
In Australia, there was a study on the subject, in which 67% of the participants considered the presence of history to be positive, as it partially opens their eyes. In a survey conducted by the eCOGRA testing organisation in 2007, 75% also considered the data to be positive.
In contrast, there is a study on the player card project in Nova Scotia (Canada). In 2005, surveys revealed that 9% of problem players were motivated by the statistics to Play because they thought they would have to compensate for losses through profits.
Self-locking as a reliable means
Ultimately you can get at Online Casinos for the period of days, weeks, months, or even more than a year lock. I am aware of an Austrian study, which was developed in cooperation with the provider win2day. Within the study period, it was found that 8,237 users had assigned more than 11,818 self-Exclusions. The return rate was 3.1%.
They had then asked 259 players more precisely about the reasons, whereby the players could specify several reasons. For 63%, it was a preventive measure and 50% said they lost too much money online. Almost 36% of the time they spent gambling on the Internet was too much. 30% had been blocked because of a total loss of Control. 26% also had a Problem with win2day as a provider. Only 21% of the people had referred to themselves as problem players during the blocking.
14% have indicated in surveys that they have already been blocked by win2day. At the same time, 9% of the respondents were banned from other Casinos.
The data shows once again that self-Locking usually only temporarily help and that players partially switch to other providers, otherwise they would not be blocked at the same time with several companies.
What is the difference between online gambling studies
Most of the studies in which online gambling providers are involved consider only the gaming behavior of customers at an Online Casino. Certainly, it is impossible to cross-connect between Casinos, as it does not allow data protection and not every gambling provider will work with research centres. However, it is important to remember that players usually play in several online Casinos, so that they can go from one Casino to the Next when the limits themselves have been reached.
Overall, one must confess here that there would have to be more global studies, so that one can get a better picture of the whole Situation.
Experience with various Limits
I never set Limits in an Online Casino unless I have to try something out. Nevertheless, I talked to different players and let me once give their experiences with Limits.
As far as the Session Limits are concerned, I have been told that they should not bring anything at all. It is difficult to stop when you can Deposit, play and then the Game is canceled because the time is around. Then what happens to paid amounts? Just stop or rather go to the next Casino?
In the field of betting limits, most also have problems. If it goes well, it is hard to stop because the stake limit has been reached. Sometimes players go to the next Casino, play the Slot there and lose.
Deposit limit only protects actual assets, it does not prevent a player from taking a big win again. Therefore, I was described that loss limits should still be the best.
With regard to the Deposit limits, a player has described to me that he sets limits at many Casinos. He has found that he partially remembers the exact dates when he can play again at a Casino. On the day he usually pays in there again, because it is possible again. In part, he plays Slots, although he has no desire to Play-just because he has the feeling of having to play, it finally goes again.
I was also told several times that players in Online Casinos with a Maltese license in order have been blocked. Some of them then switched to other Casinos without a Malta license. Other players have reported that they have waited until the lock was lifted and then the game behavior with the stakes again quite escalated and they used far more than they actually intended. In part, to try out the Games they did not know, or because they had not done it for so long and had accumulated a corresponding amount as a reserve.
Responsible Play: Lots of good ideas, but implementation is difficult
The protection of players in Internet casinos is intended to help players with problematic gaming behaviour to control their own gaming operations. The actions such as Limits, history, Pop-Up Windows and Feedback messages all have an influence on the game behavior. However, it can be seen that the effects on the player vary according to the individual. There is ultimately not one measure that will satisfy all players or can help.
However, it is clear that if Limits and the other methods are to bring something, they must be applied comprehensively to all Casinos. What good is it, if you have a Limit in Casino A, but can play in Casino B still. Interesting would be what the refusal to accept the Deposit would then make with the players. Initially, they might even be frustrated, but for the future, it could have a better effect for the player with Limit. As long as he of course does not go to unsuspecting Casinos without a license.
Finally, I would say that if you want to control your gaming behavior with Tools, a loss limit is certainly best. In order to get a rest phase after escalations when Playing, the self-lock is suitable for a short period of time. However, you should always keep in mind that the Limits are only a means of control. In the end, everyone has to control their gaming behavior and make sure that they don’t go from Casino a to Casino B. The responsibility still lies with the player himself and he has to defeat the urge to Play. Even if you improve the technique, the Tools will always provide any gaps that you can deal with some skill.