Path to Play: What is it, and what does it mean for the gambling industry?

Path to Play: What is it, and what does it mean for the gambling industry?

Path to Play is a new piece of research and framework developed by the UKGC to understand better what the typical consumer journey looks like. The intention is to explore the perspectives of gamblers and their habits.

The Path to Play study included 937 participants who had been gambling in the last 12 months. Participants were a range of ages, GB regions, socioeconomic groups, life stages, ethnicity and PGSI ratings.

There are six stages of gambling. The steps are sequential. Different factors influence players more or less at different stages. Special offers, direct communications and winning experiences influence people to gamble. Popular events like the World Cup or Premier League influence gambling more than other factors.

Path to Play explains the different aspects of gambling. It is passive influences, external triggers, internal impulses, active search, gaming experience and game outcome.

Problem gamblers are more susceptible to influences and triggers throughout the framework stages than those categorised as not at-risk.

Path to Play questions the role of responsible gambling messages and safeguarding techniques. It finds that responsible messages have little impact despite being seen regularly. Spending limits are under-utilised, with only 7% of consumers employing them.

Path to Play study aims to assist UKGC in creating new policies and initiatives to better address problem gambling. UK is in the process of concluding a new white paper. It is expected to cover affordability checks and mandatory player budgets. The CEO of the UK GCG issued a warning to operators regarding higher levels of expected compliance and consumer protection within the industry. The results of Path to play are not yet clear. They will be taken into account in a white Paper expected within weeks. There is no clear impact on the current Gambling Review. However, it remains to be seen how often the GCGC will undertake Path To Play surveys and what practical implications the results will have for policy, safeguards and operator LCCPs.

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