There is a lack of understanding of current return to player statements for gamblers who play online slots and this can lead them to take more risks than they would normally do, according to research carried out by The Behavioural Insights Team. In terms of understanding and willingness to take risks, the odds were simpler.
The Behavioural Insights Team created an online slot game and studied the gambling activity of 5,300 participants. Each segment of the group was presented with information in a variety of formats. This included simpler odds presented as potential losses in totals and slight changes such as making the RTP information more prominent or highlighting the colour of the text.
Half of all participants were presented with free spins to see how they would affect their activity and whether or not it encouraged gamblers to take more risks.
The research found that simplified odds information led to a 3% increase in the understanding of the risks involved in the segment. The number of people willing to play the game went down by 7%.
According to researchers, presenting RTP information in the way that it is currently presented by the industry increased misunderstanding of the risks involved by up to 32% of that segment’s participants.
Those who understood the odds were encouraged to play more. 75% of participants decided to play, up from 70% in the segment with no free spins offer, according to the research.
The study found that the change to simpler odds information had no impact on those with a history of problem gambling.
According to the findings of the report, The Behavioural Insights Team recommended that the RTP statements be banned or changed to improve players’ understanding of the risks involved. It has suggested that the odds should be clearly visible and presented before any other gaming information.
The report can be downloaded for free.
Simplified odds in £ terms led to greater understanding and less willingness to take risks. Half of all participants were also presented with free spins to see how this would impact their activity and whether or not it encouraged gamblers to take more risks. The Behavioural Insights Team has recommended that RTP statements should be banned or radically overhauled.