Rank data provides greater insight about UK casino customer

Rank data provides greater insight about UK casino customer

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
The decision of Rank to open up its data to researchers has been valuable to the industry

Data released by the Rank Group has helped provide a snapshot of player behaviour for casino customers.

The study, funded by the Responsible Gambling Trust, reviewed loyalty card data from more than 5 million casino visits made by more than 855,000 visitors between 2012 and 2014.

The study, carried out by researchers from University of Liverpool and University of Salford, found that on average players in the study visited the casino 1.2 times per year, but there was a subsection of players who attended twice a week.

Richard Wade, director of compliance & responsible gambling at The Rank Group, said: “The majority of people gamble responsibly but the casino industry recognises its duty to help minimise harm from problem gambling and is constantly looking for new ways to help those who are most vulnerable.  Research can only improve our understanding in this area and help us to develop the most effective intervention tools.”

The study found that less than a third (28%) of all visits to the casinos for gaming involved play on gaming machines. The typical visit included play on gaming machines for close to or a little less than an hour and a loss of around £25. But there was also further data about players who chased losses.

Wade added: “At Rank, we are therefore very pleased that our gaming machine data has enabled a comprehensive study of player behaviour to be produced and we will use insight from this research to inform our approach to customer intervention.”

The data found that casino gamblers typically exhibit ‘loss aversion’ and take longer to return to the casino if they’ve had a losing session. However, 2% of the approx. 15,000 players showed a significant tendency towards chasing their losses – returning sooner to the casino after a loss than they would normally do – which is widely considered a key indicator of gambling related harm.

However the data found that there are positive signs that for the vast majority ‘extreme behaviour’ can be self-correcting as only 3% of those who had a long session (five hours or more) in the first quarter of the review period proved to be persistently returning for long sessions three years later.

Marc Etches, chief executive of the Responsible Gambling Trust, said: “This new research helps us understand the nature of play in casinos, which in turn will help evolve the design of effective interventions for at risk players in casinos.”

Etches said that the research highlights intensity of play as a marker for poorly controlled gaming, which is particularly prevalent late at night and in the early hours of the morning.  

He added: “We’d like to thank Rank for their willingness to open up their data for this research. We look forward to seeing the wider casino industry develop and improve their staff training and intervention work as a result of these findings.”

Totally Gaming Says: The more the industry opens up its data, the more transparent it can be about tackling problem gambling. While there may be commercial reasons for holding onto some data, it is getting to the point where there are commercial (and political) reasons to carry out socially responsible practices such as this as well.

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