Gambling industry's 'When the fun stops' slogan 'doesn't work'

Researchers from Warwick University claim messaging does not result in more responsible betting, but finding is disputed by Senet Group.

"When the fun stops, stop": message was introduced in 2015
"When the fun stops, stop": message was introduced in 2015

The effectiveness of the responsible gambling campaign "When the fun stops, stop" has been called into doubt by an experiment by academics at the University of Warwick.

The experiment monitored the decisions of 506 participants who were invited to place virtual bets after viewing online betting ads, without being told that the experiment was designed to compare behaviour inspired by ads with the "When the fun stops, stop" messaging, versus those without.

The "When the fun stops, stop" campaign was introduced by the gambling industry-funded responsible betting body Senet Group in 2015.

The study concluded that there was no statistically significant difference between how likely participants were to bet when the messaging was shown and when no warning was shown.

The lack of effectiveness might suggest to the Gambling Commission that the campaign should be discontinued in its present form, the study concluded.

Gillian Wilmot, chair of the Senet Group, said the group was planning changes to the warning message, such as by shrinking the size of the word "fun", The Guardian reported

She said the campaign had "generated substantial awareness of the link between negative emotional states and problem gambling, giving young men an accessible phrase to challenge each other’s behaviour in a way that has now passed into popular culture. Discouraging all betting was never its purpose. Instead it aims to get gamblers to pause and reflect, in much the same way as the Bet Regret messaging."

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