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Research consortium to examine potential for gaming machine data to identify problem gambling

14 February 2014 | Tags: gam, problem gambling

Embargo 00:01 14th Feb 2014

A consortium made-up of NatCen Social Research, Featurespace and Geofutures has been commissioned by the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) to undertake a new piece of research into gaming machines in bookmakers.

The consortium has been tasked with exploring whether data from gaming machines can be linked to problem gambling.

  • Featurespace will analyse how industry data may be used to potentially identify harmful patterns of play and will assess how reliable this information is.
  • NatCen will conduct qualitative work with machine players to explore attitudes to player tracking and loyalty cards as well as scoping the development a survey of machine players.

If the project shows significant patterns in the machine data then the RGT has committed to commissioning a second phase of research – including a survey of gaming machine users - to see what the patterns identified in phase one mean for gamblers in practice.

NatCen’s lead researcher on the project, Heather Wardle, Researcher Director, NatCen Social Research said “Our previous research suggests that some of the data collected by gaming machines may help us better understand the way people use them and potentially identify patterns of harmful gambling. This new project will tell us more about the data available and is a first step towards using this data to spot harmful machine play.”



Leigh Marshall 02075698506/07828031850 and

Notes to Editors

At NatCen Social Research we believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people's lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping services that can make a difference to everyone. And as an independent, not for profit organization we're able to focus our time and energy on meeting our clients' needs and delivering social research that works for society. 

Featurespace is an Adaptive Behavioural Analytics company specialising in extracting meaningful insights from the vast amount of data received by organisations. Our series of award-winning products focuses on fraud prevention, churn detection, and responsible gambling. Our unique software enables organisations to optimise their data and understand customers based on an in-depth analysis of real behavioural patterns, rather than arbitrary assumptions and rules. Because of the groundbreaking nature of our technology, Featurespace is pleased that its potential has been recognised world-wide and is backed by the investment from Nesta, Imperial Innovations, Betfair, and Cambridge Angels.