The impact of pop-up warning messages of losses on expenditure in a simulated game of online roulette: a pilot study.

Paul McGivern, Zaheer Hussain, Sigrid Lipka, Edward Stupple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
‘Pop-up’ warning messages have potential as a Responsible Gambling tool, but many warning messages in the literature are generic. The present study simulated digital roulette to compare the effectiveness of expenditure-specific, generic and control messages, during online roulette.

Methods
Forty-five casual gamblers participated in a laboratory setting. Gambles were ‘rigged’ such that participants suffered a net loss. Total ‘play money’ wagers from individual bets after the presentation of the messages were measured.

Results
Expenditure-specific warning messages demonstrated significant reductions in wager amounts compared with other message types - Generic (p = .035) and Control messages (p < .001). No significant differences were found between Generic and Control messages (p > .05). Thus expenditure-specific warning messages about current losses were more effective than generic messages for reducing expenditure.

Conclusions
Expenditure-specific warning messages exhibit potential for ameliorating potentially harmful gambling behaviour. Expenditure-specific messages should be tested in a broader range of gambling contexts to examine their generalizability and potential for implementation in the gambling industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number822 (2019)
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

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