6 Piloting interventions
Identifying harmful play is of little use in itself unless it is followed by successful intervention designed to inhibit it, or to mitigate its effects.
There is now welcome acceptance among many operators of the need to experiment with different forms of intervention – customer interaction, messaging, debit card blocking and so on – either at the level of individual firms or collectively through industry groups such as IGRG and the Senet Group. It is important that these good intentions, and the work done to date, continue to be translated into concrete action.
The nature of experimentation is that there will be some failures. No-one should be criticised if an evaluation shows that a well-intentioned experimental intervention has not been successful, provided the pilot was sensibly designed with a clear rationale for how it was expected to affect behaviour. Evidence of what does not work can be important as well as information about what does.
The gambling industry, both collectively and at the level of individual businesses, with support from the Responsible Gambling Trust.
Indicative timescale: We hope that a number of harm minimisation pilots will be in place before the end of 2016. We would expect to see more completed, evaluated and, if successful, put into regular practice by the end of the forthcoming three-year period.
Indicators of success: Operators, often working in collaboration with each other, designing and implementing pilot projects to test interventions to reduce harmful gambling. We would expect to see this approach adopted over a wide range of different types of support and intervention, to be taking place in all sectors of the industry, and to be accompanied by evaluation and development to put learning from trials into practice. We would also expect to see results being shared at conferences and in other ways.
Relevant to: Priority objectives I and III.