The efficacy of voluntary self-exclusions in reducing gambling among a real-world sample of British online casino players

Hopfgartner, N., Auer, M., Helic, D. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2023. The efficacy of voluntary self-exclusions in reducing gambling among a real-world sample of British online casino players. Journal of Gambling Studies, 39 (4), pp. 1833-1848. ISSN 1050-5350

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Online gambling is a socially acceptable means of entertainment, but it can also have a negative impact on many areas of life and lead to problem gambling for a minority of individuals. In recent years, gambling operators have increasingly implemented responsible gambling tools to help at-risk gamblers control and limit their gambling. One such tool is voluntary self-exclusion (VSE), where gamblers can exclude themselves from the gambling platform for a self-selected period of time. Despite the widespread use of VSE, there are few published studies on the efficacy of VSE among online gamblers and none on whether (and what type of) gamblers return to gambling after self-exclusion and how VSE affects their wagering if they return. Using a secondary dataset, the present study empirically analyzed a real-world sample of 3,203 British online casino players who opted for a VSE between January 2021 and August 2022. Analysis showed that most players who took a short-term VSE (up to 38 days) started gambling again on the platform after their self-exclusion ended, while players who opted for long-term self-exclusion (more than 90 days) did not start gambling again on the platform. A return to the gambling platform after VSE was positively associated with (i) a shorter duration of the self-exclusion, (ii) being female, (iii) gambling on more days, (iv) placing more bets, (v) playing fewer type of games, and (vi) having a lower average number of deposits per day. Players who returned from VSE did not change their wagering compared to a matched control group. These results suggest that short-term VSE may not be as effective as long-term VSE in reducing gambling. Overall, the present findings suggest that gamblers returning from VSE should be closely monitored, especially if the reason for self-exclusion is related to problem gambling.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Gambling Studies
Creators: Hopfgartner, N., Auer, M., Helic, D. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: December 2023
Volume: 39
Number: 4
ISSN: 1050-5350
Rights: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 28 Mar 2023 14:43
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 15:45

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