Category Archives: Research

New study on how the responsible gambling tool Playscan is used

In the article “Usage of a responsible Gambling tool: a descriptive analysis and latent class analysis of user behavior” PhD student David Forsström from the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, studied how players are using Playscan. He examined the Playscan 3-data of 9 528 online gamblers who used the tool voluntarily and investigated if there are different subclasses of users by conducting a latent class analysis. He observed number of visits to the site, self-tests made and advice used.

 

The study has shown that the tool has a high initial usage and a low repeated usage. Latent class analysis yielded five distinct classes of users: self-testers, multi-function users, advice users, site visitors, and non-users. Multinomial regression revealed that classes were associated with different risk levels of excessive gambling. The self-testers and multi-function users used the tool to a higher extent and were found to have a greater risk of excessive gambling than the other classes.

 

Professor Per Carlbring states, “The low usage of the tool is not a disappointment. As long as the right ones actually use the tool, which is exactly what we found. People with a higher risk level are using Playscan more.”

 

Find the study here

From 10% to 60% click-though to a RG-tool – why user interface design matters


How do players use a responsible gambling tool – why user interface design matters – talk by Natalia Matulewicz. Presented at the SNSUS Conference, Stockholm, June 2-3 2015.

How do we increase the usage of responsible gambling tools? Is mandatory or voluntary the way to go?

This talk means to inspire and give new ideas to how to increase the players interest and usage of responsible gambling tools. With the help of user interface design guidelines and persuasive technology principles we went from 10% players using the tool up to impressive 60%.

Presenting Playscan Research

Phd student David Forsström presenting results from his studies at SNSUS conference and at the Department of Psychology, Stockholm University.

 

In the first study (to be presented at Stockholm University) user behavior was analyzed  and the main finding was the identification of  five distinct classes of users: Very high usage, high usage, advice users, site visitors and non-users.
 
The second study (to be presented at SNSUS) focuses on how the user experiences Playscan. The main findings are that users want more feed-back from the system and that the type of gambling activity online influences Playscan usage.

 

 

First study will be presented at Stockholm University at June 2, 2015
The second study will be presented at the SNSUS conference in Stockholm at June 3, 2015

Players benefit from using Playscan

 

Playscan 3 helps at-risk players to reduce their spending on gambling.

A previous evaluation determined that players found Playscan to be a useful tool (Griffiths, Wood & Parke, 2009), but a systematic investigation of whether the tool influences players’ gambling behaviours had yet to be conducted. To address this gap we, Dr Richard Wood from GamRes Limited, Canada and Dr Michael Wohl from Carleton University, Canada, undertook an independent evaluation study the previous version, Playscan 3.

 

 

Specifically, we set out to empirically test the hypothesis that ‘The gambling behavior of players who use Playscan, will show a significant observable change, following the presentation of a negative change in risk category (i.e. Green to Yellow or Yellow to Red). In other words, we tested the idea that using Playscan can help players maintain, or return to, less risky patterns of play.

 

How was the study conducted?


Player data was examined for 1558 Swedish Internet players (n = 1388 male; n = 170 female). More males were present in the sample due to the data being drawn from a population that had a predominance of online poker players. Poker is a game that has a higher proportion of male versus female players. Six hundred and ninety four Playscan subscribers were compared to the same number of non-Playscan subscribers. The two groups of players were matched in terms of age, gender, gambling intensity, types of games played and current Playscan risk rating.

All players in the study were rated by Playscan, but only Playscan subscribers received feedback about their playing behaviour. This meant that everything else being equal, any changes in behaviour following feedback from Playscan would suggest that it was having an impact.

 

What did the evaluation study conclude?


It was found that Playscan subscribers who were informed that their rating was ‘Yellow’ (at-risk for gambling problems) showed a significant reduction in the amount of money deposited and wagered, compared to those players who did not use Playscan. This reduction in spending for at-risk players, was seen one week after enrolment with Playscan and was also evident 24 weeks after enrolment.

 

Based on the results, Wood and Wohl concluded that there is evidence to suggest Playscan is particularly helpful for Yellow players (those who show signs of risky play). That is, the feedback provided by Playscan, to those who show signs of risky play, was shown to reduce their levels of spending on gambling games tracked by Playscan. As such, Playscan appears to have responsible gambling utility – at least for those who are most at-risk for developing problematic patterns of play. Importantly, Red players (those who show signs of problematic play) enrolled in Playscan also reduced their expenditure on play, but so did Red players not enrolled in Playscan.

One explanation for this is that Red players, in both groups, may be more aware of a need to reduce their spending on games, as their playing is more obviously risky. Nevertheless, Red players who were using Playscan would have benefitted additionally from being given information to help them seek out the treatment or support that they may have required.

playscan_stats

Positive first results from Playscan 4

Due to good first page exposure and a marketing campaign on the Operators website we saw an increase in the player activity during the beginning of June. We experienced a jump in activations (the amount of visitors was tripled compared with last year). A lot of non-risk players paid attention to Playscan and activated the tool. The novelty value didn’t scare them off – the tool kept most of the new activations.

 

Positive attitudes

The biggest change between Playscan 4 and previous versions is the players’ own perception of how well the Playscan risk analysis harmonizes with their own believes. The main positive movement of perception is with the increased risk players. 60% of the increased risk players agree with their analysis, something we find very exciting.

The information is useful

With Playscan 4 we have, when communicating with players, added informative texts such as “10 gambling commandments” and “What is gambling addiction?”. 8 out of 10 users appreciate these texts and find them useful.

More completed Self Tests

82% more completed Self Tests, compared with previous 75%. Both these numbers are high and indicate that people don’t mind answering questions about their gambling habits.

 

Increased risk players read informative texts

When a player has read their risk analysis they are given a recommendation based on their risk level. Simply because some tips are more relevant to a risk player than to a non-risk player.

So, what kind of recommendations is appreciated and most clicked? It turns out that increased risk players reads educating texts, such as “to have in mind while gambling”, while at risk players takes action by “setting up a budget”. The non-risk players are more likely to read general information on what problem gambling is and how it is manifested.

Picture taken by Per Carlbring

Playscan – the subject of a newly started PhD dissertation

David Forsström, psychologist from Stockholm, Sweden, will write his PhD dissertation about Playscan.

The project will run for four years, supervised by Professor Per Carlbring – and the Playscan Team are happy that the project now has its beginning.

 

The study is planned and divided into five different part-studies; ranging from investigating how Playscan is used and by whom, interviewing Playscan users, and performing comparative studies in marketing and content to optimize the reach and effect of the tool.

 

The overall research questions to answer is: How is Playscan used – how does the tool perform – and what effect does it have on player behaviour?

 

“It’s exciting to get started with the project” says David Forsström. “I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, and I am happy that the cooperation with Playscan has started.”
“This will teach us even more about how our tool contributes to the gaming market” says Henrik Hallberg, CTO at Playscan. “Getting this level of attention and rigor is a good continuation of our mission – to build efficient tools for a sustainable gaming market.”

 

The position is financed by the Svenska Spel research council. Each part-study, when finished, will be published in peer-reviewed journals. The research is independent – the results will stand for themselves. Playscan will not have any influence regarding publishing.

playscan_evalutation

Self-evaluation directs us to prepare our next performance

Playscan is technology, data and behavioural sciences all together in one solution and continuous improvements require systematic evaluation.

 

Therefore, during 2013 we invest heavily in evaluation of the product with two external evaluations:

 

Dr Richard Wood commences the evaluation of the effectiveness of Playscan

Dr Richard Wood, psychologist and director of GamRes Limited (Montreal, Canada),

Dr Richard Wood is with his experience within the field of Responsible Gambling, testing and development of responsible gambling tools evaluating Playscan in terms of overall effectiveness. Dr Richard Wood will be focusing upon the actual observed impacts of Playscan’s unique targeted communications, aimed at promoting and maintaining healthy playing profiles. The study will also examine the player perspective of using the tool to assist their regular playing activities over time. The findings of the study will be presented in the beginning of July, 2013.

 

per_carl

 

Per Carlbring, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stockholm University

Per Carlbring, has received fundings for an independent evaluation of Playscan. With his expertise within online-based self-help programs he will guide a post-graduate student to carry out a comprehensive study on Playscan for the next four years to come. The study will be divided into five different part-studies.