GambleAware, a U.K. based charity that supports prevention and treatment services, has published a report by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) that analyzed data to help build a better picture of how people gamble, how they can be harmed, and support prevention, treatment and support.
The research employed transaction data from Monzo Bank Ltd. and HSBC Holdings to shed light on what that data says about gambling behavior.
According to a statement from GambleAware, “The reports demonstrated that bank customer and transactional data can offer valuable insights into the success of gambling blocking tools and also provide unique profiles of gamblers.”
One bit of data from Monzo found that a week before those who use the bank’s gambling blocker activated it, their average daily spend on gambling tripled. The data also shows that gamblers had less funds on average in their saving accounts that non-gamblers.
GambleAware stated, “Taken individually however, these datasets are not enough to understand whether a customer is at risk of experiencing gambling harms. A dataset from a single bank is unlikely to offer a full picture of an individual’s spending, and so these exploratory research projects illustrated that further research is needed to create a fuller picture of an individual’s overall financial wellbeing.”
Dr. Simon McNair, a BIT adviser stated, “Our research with HSBC and Monzo has demonstrated that bank transactional data can be a useful tool in identifying gambling behaviors and the unique profiles of gamblers, but further work is needed to understand how such data can be used robustly.”
Maxine Pritchard, Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC, added, “Our research with GambleAware helps us to understand gambling-related behaviors so that we can provide the best support to our customers.”
GambleAware has commissioned the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre to create a guide for financial services who want to protect customers from financial harms related to gambling.
According to Professor Sharon Collard, research director at the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre “At a conservative estimate, at least five million people in Britain experience harmful gambling, either because of their own gambling or someone else’s.”