The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) recently published the findings of their study on the setting of deposit limits. The study was commissioned by the charity GambleAware.
They tested several different deposit limit settings on Bet365 customers. This meant that certain customers who had not touched their deposit limit settings and did not have any set were sent messages that reminded them to set limits on their deposits and gambling.
Bet365 is one of the largest betting operators in the world. They offer odds and almost any sport you can think of, including a wide variety of esports betting options. You can bet on popular titles like CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota 2 and Overwatch as well as less popular titles NBA2K, FIFA, and Hearthstone.
Out of the total number of customers that received the prompt, 1731 of them followed it. They were then present with one of three different versions of the deposit limit page.
- A ‘business as usual’ version, with the current deposit limit setting tool. This was the standard page for Bet365 that allows customers to set limits in denominations from £5 to £100,00, or to continue gambling without a limit. Shown to 604 customers.
- The deposit limits options were presented with lower values, the largest being £250, and a text box for customers to freely type a higher amount. They were also given the choice to select no limit at all. Shown to 571 customers.
- A blank deposit amount and only provided with a text box, they were given no prompting on the limit they could set on themselves. Shown to 556 customers.
When the BIT compared the two new deposit variations to the current model, they found that deposit limits were 46% lower with the text box and no deposit prompts and 45% lower when presented with the £250 or lower deposit suggestions.
The findings of their study
“Customers should be presented with a free text box with no visible or suggested minimum/maximum values when setting deposit limits. We recommend that this be implemented across the industry as part of social responsibility code provisions under the Gambling Commission’s License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).”
“Operators should apply known effective methods to increase uptake of deposit limits, continue to test what works, and share those insights. Our previous work demonstrated that making it easier for people to access deposit limit tools increases uptake. We therefore recommend that operators carry out testing into how best to prompt customers to set meaningful limits.”
“More research funding must be directed towards causal evaluations that will yield insights to inform policy and be scaled across the industry. Much more work is needed to test the impacts of various features of online gambling using randomised controlled trials in live business environments. Only then will robust, independent evidence exist to inform policies, practices, and procedures.”
What does this mean for esports betting?
The esports betting world and especially esports betting sites in the UK are under a lot of scrutiny from lawmakers and safe gambling charities like GambleAware because of the perceived lower age of their audience.
Recommendations like these may hinder the profitmaking abilities of certain betting sites but they make the experience far safer for any new customer. Players looking to bet on new games and tournaments like the Valorant First Strike series are far better off sticking to legal and safe UK sites to mitigate any risk.