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Multi-operator self-exclusion schemes (MOSES) evaluation and impact assessment principles

These principles set out the features that we and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) consider should be included in effective evaluations of multi-operator self-exclusion schemes.

We have developed the principles with the National Responsible Gambling Strategy and the Evaluation Protocol in mind to support those that administer the schemes when they commission evaluation in this area. We expect that those undertaking an evaluation will devise a methodology that is consistent with these principles. They are subject to revision in the light of new information, including experience from pilots.

How you should evaluate your multi-operator self-exclusion scheme

These principles cover how the sample for interviews should be sourced, how reflective it should be of the scheme user population as a whole, and how data should be analysed and refreshed:

  • Interview sample should be as representative as possible of all scheme users
  • Schemes should have an option for individuals to be re-contacted for research purposes. This option is presented at the end of the registration process and it is made clear to customers that it is fine for them to say no (this is an example of an approach that could be piloted).
  • Data should be extrapolated and weighted where scheme user information is available. Sample size for interview needs to be sufficiently robust to allow for this.
  • Data should be refreshed following initial impact assessment to provide an assessment of scheme impact over time.

Protecting your self-excluded volunteers

These principles are designed to safe-guard the scheme user as far as possible and ensure the interview is not an uncomfortable experience for them:

  • Research should be conducted according to established ‎ethical standards for social research, having regard to the specific circumstances of the gambling sector. To support this, we will establish an expert group to provide advice and oversight about methods and ethics.
  • Researchers should only conduct interviews when they have obtained informed consent.
  • Telephone interviews should be the preferred approach, with consideration given to how best to administer sensitive questions.
  • Researchers should state at the start of the interview that if respondents do not wish to answer any questions they do not have to.
  • Researchers should advise the respondent that if they want to talk to anyone further about any of the issues raised they can contact a range of support agencies, and signpost the respondent to these if they are interested.

What data you should collect

These principles set out what data needs to be fed into the impact evaluation to ensure it is robust:

  • Management information data (where available):
    • number of individuals registered on the scheme
    • individual’s use of multiple MOSE schemes
    • number of individuals who have returned to gambling
      following MOSES period
    • number of breaches of MOSES (broken down before and
      after gambling if possible).
  • Data from scheme users:
    • why did they sign up to MOSES?
    • what would they have done if MOSES was not available?
    • changes to behaviour since signing up and impact of these changes
    • assessment of problem gambling status – ideally via the full PGSI screen but via the PGSI mini-screen if this is not practical
    • longitudinal assessment of changes in impact on the scheme user over time where the sample size allows for this to be done effectively (confirming at each stage that the individual is prepared to be contacted).

Further information that would be useful to collect

We, in discussion with RGSB, have also identified a number of areas of interest which are not core to conducting a robust impact evaluation but could be valuable to understand further:

  • history of the scheme user’s self-exclusion – have they self-excluded from individual operators previously, and was this effective?
  • customer satisfaction with the scheme service/interface
  • future intentions for gambling behaviour/self-exclusion
  • wider impact of changes on mental wellbeing, family, work/study and relationships
  • suggested scheme improvements
  • other interventions that they would find useful.