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Experimental evidence on measures to protect consumers of online gambling services


  • Frans Folkvord

    (Open Evidence Research, Barcelona, Spain. Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Science, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands.)

  • Cristiano Codagnone

    (Open Evidence Research, Barcelona, Spain. Universitá degli Studi di Milano Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Politiche, Milano, Italy.)

  • Francesco Bogliacino

    (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Bogotá, Colombia)

  • Giuseppe Veltri

    (University of Trento, Department of Sociology and Social Research, Italy)

  • Francisco Lupiañez-Villanueva

    (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Departament of Information and Communication Science. Open Evidence Research, Barcelona, Spain.)

  • Andriy Ivchenko

    (Expilab Research S.L., Barcelona, Spain.)

  • George Gaskell

    (London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Methodology, London, United Kingdom.)


Online gambling has grown rapidly in recent decades due to increased accessibility and availability. This article reports the results of a behavioral experiment conducted in a laboratory (N=522) and an online experiment administered in seven European countries (N=5997). The experiments examined the effectiveness of a range of mainstream and also innovative protective interventions for online gambling. The rationale of the interventions was to disrupt both individuals’ mental processes and the affordances embedded in the human-machine system designed to maximize the time spent gambling and industry profits. Behavioral measures including stake size, speed of play and decision to stop playing or make further gambles were recorded. The results show that interventions addressing both individuals’ mental processes and the human-machine interaction are effective in reducing the stake size and in slowing down the pace of gambling. All other interventions directed at the level of the individual have no effect on behavior. The results show that traditional ‘nudges’ are not sufficient and structural features such as the affordances embedded by design into the online gambling machines must be addressed in order to effectively protect consumers of online gambling.

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  • Frans Folkvord & Cristiano Codagnone & Francesco Bogliacino & Giuseppe Veltri & Francisco Lupiañez-Villanueva & Andriy Ivchenko & George Gaskell, 2019. "Experimental evidence on measures to protect consumers of online gambling services," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 3(1), pages 20-29, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:3:y:2019:i:1:p:20-29

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    1. Bogliacino, Francesco & Charris, Rafael & Codagnone, Cristiano & Folkvord, Frans & Gaskell, George & Gómez, Camilo & Liva, Giovanni & Montealegre, Felipe, 2023. "Less is more: Information overload in the labelling of fish and aquaculture products," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    2. Ring, Patrick & Probst, Catharina C. & Neyse, Levent & Wolff, Stephan & Kaernbach, Christian & van Eimeren, Thilo & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2022. "Discounting Behavior in Problem Gambling," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 38(2), pages 529-543.
    3. Ring, Patrick & Probst, Catharina C. & Neyse, Levent & Wolff, Stephan & Kaernbach, Christian & van Eimeren, Thilo & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2021. "Discounting Behavior in Problem Gambling," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 240211, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).

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