The stark revelation comes from a survey aimed at measuring gambling knowledge among diverse groups of players.
A survey that was recently launched with the objective to tune a Gambling IQ test, offered the opportunity to gain a better understanding of gambling expertise among gamblers.
The survey was introduced with a disclaimer that results would not be related to the level of intelligence: a low score does not mean the participant is not smart or has low education, while a high score does not mean one can be a winner. The outcome, however, could be related to elements such as unfamiliarity with game rules and presence of wrong beliefs, which can influence, among other things, the speed of losses and ultimately cause gambling harm.
One of the first questions of the survey, which surpassed the hundred participants and is still ongoing, asked participant to define themselves among Casual Gamblers, Professional Gamblers, Pathological/Problem Gamblers, and those who work for gambling operators. The proportion of participants who self defined as “Problem Gamblers” so far has been about 11%.
TOPICS AND SCORES
The standardised test was configured with a maximum score of 100, with questions ranging from casino, sports betting and poker rules, yet also covering certain operator practices and some common misbeliefs. Its structure seeks to assess both the level of awareness towards such rules and practices, and the risk of falling for specific psychological tricks.
A look at the average scores recorded by each category of gamblers validated our initial assumption that risk gamblers have a lower level of awareness, highlighting the urgent need to increase and promote education in order to prevent gambling harm.
Problem Gamblers is the group that scored the lowest points, with an average score of 69/100. For comparison, Casual Gamblers scored 79/100, Gambling Workers 84/100 and self acknowledged Professional Gamblers scored 91/100, on average.
MISBELIEFS AND BONUSES
Among all the questions, the answers who diverged most noticeably between Problem Gamblers and other groups were the following:
- 50% of Problem Gamblers asserted that sticking always to the same numbers increases the chances of winning the lottery. For comparison, the percentage of Casual Gamblers believing that to be true is 20%;
- 67% of Problem Gamblers asserted that a slot machine that has not paid out for a while is “hot”, meaning it’s due for a big win soon. The same belief is seen in only 36% of Casual Gamblers;
- 83% of Problem Gamblers admitted of not reading T&Cs before accepting a bonus. Only 25% of Casual Gamblers admitted the same.
The last point in particular presents a quite grim situation, which can be explained by the fact that for a pathological gambler, receiving a bonus is an immediate trigger for their addiction, thus lowering their inhibition and causing them to accept the deal without double thinking it.
And while these insights might not be statistically significant, as the survey is still ongoing and involves a relatively small population, more research should be done in this area.
Gambling harm should not only be studied on a financial level, seeking ever complex algorithms, but preventive measures should also focus on behavioural observations.
More will follow on these matters in the coming weeks, with Gambless soon to make important announcements regarding its mission to prevent and treat gambling addiction.
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