Statistical risk warnings in gambling

Philip W. S. Newall, Lukasz Walasek, Arman Hassanniakalager, Alex M. T. Russell, Elliot A. Ludvig, Matthew Browne

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Abstract

Gambling is considered a public health issue by many researchers, similar to alcohol or obesity. Statistical risk warnings on gambling products can be considered a public health intervention that encourages safer gambling while preserving freedom of consumer choice. Statistical risk warnings may be useful to gamblers, given that net gambling losses are the primary driver of harm, and that gambling products vary greatly in the degree to which they facilitate losses. However, there is some doubt as to whether statistical risk warnings are, in their current form, effective in reducing gambling harm. Here we consider current applications and evidence, discuss product-specific issues around a range of gambling products, and suggest future directions. Our primary recommendation is that current statistical risk warnings can be improved
and also applied to a wider range of gambling products. Such an approach should help consumers to make more informed judgments, and potentially encourage gambling operators to compete more directly on the relative “price” of gambling products.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalBehavioural Public Policy
Early online date24 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • public health
  • warning labels
  • betting
  • gambling products
  • electronic gambling machines

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