Player card technologies in the gambling environment
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Player card technologies in the gambling environment

Behavioural tracking technologies (1)• In 2002, two separate academic papers examinedbehavioural tracking:(1) Wang & Aquino (2002) highlighted the advantages to thegaming industry in relation to slot machines(2) Griffiths & Parke (2002) highlighted the disadvantages to theplayers in relation to Internet gambling• Both papers claimed that companies could keep track of whatthe customer was playing, time spent playing, the thenumber of wins and losses.• Both papers also highlighted that such tracking technologiescould be linked to loyalty schemes.09 July 2008 2

Behavioural tracking technologies (2)•On joining loyalty schemes and/or buying productsfrom online companies, customers supply lots ofinformation including such things as name,address, telephone number, date of birth, andgender.•Basically they can accurately track the playingpatterns of all their customers.•They know more about the gambler’s playingbehaviour than the gamblers themselves.09 July 2008 3

Loyalty cards vs. Player cards• Some companies using smartcards to help identify problemgamblers rather than promote their gaming products to them• Such cards more accurately described as ResponsibleGaming Cards or Player Cards rather than Loyalty Cards• Player cards concerned with minimising harm tovulnerable• Loyalty cards concerned with rewarding customers for usingproducts, and for gathering data used for direct marketing.09 July 2008 5

Loyalty cards vs. Player cards•It is important for the credibility of a player card asa responsible gaming tool that it is used only forthe purposes responsible gaming and not forother commercially motivated reasons.•A clear distinction needs to be drawn between a‘player card’ and a ‘loyalty card,’ the latter beingdesigned to promote loyalty and/or increased salesof a product.09 July 2008 6

Loyalty cards• Relationship marketing (in particular loyalty marketing) ispopular among companies who seek customer retention inmarketplaces that are complex, dynamic and highlycompetitive (Capizzi & Ferguson, 2005). Retailers tend tocompete primarily on product price.• Hospitality and leisure industries tend to compete on basis ofatmosphere, service quality, and reputation (Fisk, 2004).• Could therefore be argued that customer loyalty andretention may be more relevant and of greater importance tothe leisure sector than for retailers (Michels & Bowen, 2005).09 July 2008 7

Smartcard technologies (1)•South Australia Independent Gambling Authority(2005) investigated how smartcard technologymight be implemented with a view to significantlyreducing problem gambling.•SAIGA recommended that smartcard technologyshould be integrated with a central gamingmachine monitoring system.•Most of the smartcard providers reported that theynot only had the technology, but also had a fullydeveloped harm minimisation program.09 July 2008 8

Smartcard technologies (3)• Features of the technology have the potential to facilitatesocially responsible play including:»The ability for players to set limits on play in timeand money»The ability to exclude (over long periods of time orcertain dates) and provide self-exclusion tools»The balance limit»The ability to request a player activity statement.• Some say players are generally reticent to use the system,and advocate incentives and rewards to overcome this.09 July 2008 10

CARD-BASED GAMING SYSTEMS(Queensland Government Treasury, 2005)• QGT recommended that the player must be capable of settinglimits on a number of transactions including:» Maximum deposit into player account or the card per time.» Maximum deposit per time period into the player accountor card.» Maximum amount that may be transferred to the creditmeter from the player account or balance on the card atany one time.» Maximum total amount that may be transferred from theplayer account or balance on the card to the credit meterduring a time period.» Maximum bet per game.» Maximum account/card limit.09 July 2008 11

DO PLAYER CARDS WORK? (2)(Focal Research, 2007)• Quantitatively based, study examining the trial use of aResponsible Gaming Device (RGD) accessed by use of amandatory player card on Video Lottery.• Just under half (48%) of regular players adopted the system(i.e., regularly used the responsible gaming features).•Most frequently used features were those relating toplayer expenditure information (e.g., how much spentduring a session) rather than the gaming control features(e.g., setting a weekly spend limit)09 July 2008 14

• Those who used the RGD were winning more money thanthose who did not.• RGD features provided players with a means and/or themotivation to better control their own behaviour such thatthey obtained more entertainment value out of the gamblingmachines while simultaneously controlling or ‘capping’ theamount spent.• In other words, they may have been better equipped tounderstand when to quit whilst they were ahead.• However, such an explanation is largely speculative andrequires further empirical support.09 July 2008 15

DO PLAYER CARDS WORK? (3)(Nisbet, 2005; 2006)• Administered questionnaire to 134 patrons of two large NSWclubs that implemented these card-based technologies.• She concluded that consumers do not believe that card-basedtechnologies would help them manage their spending.• However, players did believe that player activity statementswere a useful feature.• in absence of empirical evidence the impact of card-basedgambling as a harm minimization tool remained unresolved.09 July 2008 16

HOW CAN THE USE OF PLAYERCARDS BE ENCOURAGED?•Use of theory of planned behaviour??•Use the strengths of loyalty cards and apply toplayer cards??09 July 2008 17

THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOUR(Ajzen, 1988)• Behavioural intention (the likelihood of performing abehaviour) will be dependent upon:•Personal beliefs (Does the player card reflect players’personal values?)•Normative influence (Is the player card well regarded bysociety?)•Perceived behavioural control (Can I use the playercard easily, and will I get rewarded for using it?)• When all of these factors are positive, behavioural intentionwill be high (i.e., players are likely to use the player card).09 July 2008 18

Perceived value of loyalty cardsElements of success (O’Brien & Jones, 1995)• Monetary value of the rewards given relative to the cost ofthe product (e.g., the price of a game compared to the valueof the reward).• Aspirational value of the rewards (e.g., how exciting and/ordesirable the reward is).• Perceived likelihood of achieving the rewards (e.g., the oddsor frequency of getting a reward).• Ease of use of the scheme.• Availability of the rewards.09 July 2008 19

• The potential such a program has to attract membersdepends not only on the value of the rewards it offers, butalso on when the rewards are available.• Psychology of gambling reinforcement tells us that whenrewards are delayed they are far less motivating• O’Brien and Jones (1995) note that accumulating benefitprograms (frequent-flyer schemes) try to (partially) alleviatethis problem by sending their members a statement ofaccumulated points at regular intervals.• Typically, statements accompanied by material promoting theaspirational values and ease of achieving available rewards.09 July 2008 20

PROPOSED REWARD STRATEGIES• Players need to be rewarded for actually utilisingresponsible gaming features (RGFs) but it is importantthat any reward given does not encourage continuedgambling.• Loyalty card schemes can encourage longer and/or morefrequent play - player cards (as RGFs) should encouragebehavioural transparency.• Effective use of RGFs, a player should spend some timeactually using the features rather than players quicklyclicking on them in order to qualify for a reward.09 July 2008 21

• Use of a player card will be dependent upon intrinsic andextrinsic rewards.• Intrinsic rewards involve the satisfaction that players getfrom actually using the player card and will be highlydependent upon their attitudes towards it.• Marketing materials for player cards should focus on thebenefits to the majority of ‘normal’ players rather thanas a safety device for ‘vulnerable’ or problem gamblers.• Intrinsic rewards are achieved when the player feels that theplayer card is a good thing to use because they havevalue and/or are enjoyable to use.09 July 2008 22

• Extrinsic motivations are material rewards that aim topersuade the player to use the PlayerCard through pairingsomething else that is desirable with the use of RGFs.•The design of the interface is essential and it should beboth easy to use and entertaining.• The player card should feel as though they are an integralpart of the overall gaming experience rather thansomething that is tagged on afterwards.• Players should not feel that the social responsibility tools area chore to use or a service for only problematic players.Instead they become a part of the core playingexperience.09 July 2008 23

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