NEWS14 February 2014

Can gaming machine data identify problem gambling?

New business News UK

UK — The Responsible Gaming Trust (RGT) has appointed a research consortium, including NatCen Social Research and Featurespace, to study whether gaming machine data can be used to identify problem gambling.

Featurespace will analyse how industry data might be used to identify harmful patterns of play and will assess how reliable the information is, while NatCen will conduct qualitative work with machine players to explore attitudes to player tracking and loyalty cards.

If the project shows significant patterns in the machine data, then the RGT has committed to commissioning a second phase of research – including a survey of gaming machine users – to see what the patterns identified in phase one mean for gamblers in practice.

NatCen research director Heather Wardle said: “Our previous research suggests that some of the data collected by gaming machines may help us better understand the way people use them and potentially identify patterns of harmful gambling. This new project will tell us more about the data available and is a first step towards using this data to spot harmful machine play.”