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  • Author or Editor: Michael Auer x
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Over the past two decades, problem gambling has become a public health issue and research from many countries indicates that a small but significant minority of individuals are problem gamblers. In Norway, the prevalence of problem gambling among adults is estimated to be just less than 1%. To help minimize the harm from gambling, the Norwegian government’s gambling operator (Norsk Tipping) has introduced several responsible gambling initiatives to help protect players from developing gambling problems (e.g., limit-setting tools, voluntary self-exclusion, personalized feedback, etc.).


The aim of this study was to determine whether the receiving of personalized feedback exceeding 80% of a personally set monetary personal limit had an effect on subsequent playing behavior compared to those gamblers who did not receive personalized feedback.


Out of 54,002 players, a total of 7,884 players (14.5%) received at least one piece of feedback that they had exceeded 80% of their personal global monthly loss limit between January and March 2017.


Using a matched-pairs design, results showed that those gamblers receiving personalized feedback in relation to limit-setting showed significant reductions in the amount of money gambled.


The findings of this study will be of great value to many stakeholder groups including researchers in the gambling studies field, the gambling industry, regulators, and policymakers.

Open access

Background and aims

Responsible gambling (RG) tools and initiatives have been introduced by social RG operators as a means to help prevent problem gambling. One such initiative is the use of mandatory play breaks (i.e., forced session terminations). Recommendations by RG experts for gambling operators to implement mandatory play breaks appear to be intuitively sensible but are not evidence-based.


The present authors were given access by the Norwegian gambling operator Norsk Tipping to data from 7,190 video lottery terminal (VLT) players who gambled between January and March 2018. This generated 218,523 playing sessions for further analysis. Once a gambling session reaches a 1-hr play duration, a forced session termination of 90 s comes into effect. This study evaluated the effect of mandatory play breaks on subsequent gambling.


Compared to similar sessions identified using a matched-pairs design, results demonstrated that there was no significant effect of the forced termination regarding the amount of money staked in the subsequent gambling session or on the time duration of the subsequent gambling session.


Although expenditure was higher in the subsequent 24 hr for terminated sessions, this is likely due to higher intensity gamblers being more likely to trigger mandatory breaks. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Open access