Literature review: Cashless and card-based technologies in gambling


This study was commissioned by the Gambling Commission, and undertaken by Dr Jonathan Parke from the University of Salford, Jane Rigbye of The Gambling Lab Ltd and Dr Adrian Parke from the University of Lincoln.

This review aimed to improve the understanding of the arguments for and against the introduction of cashless and card-based technologies to reduce problem gambling and promote responsible gambling.

The review identified current and emerging cashless and card-based technologies, and considered approaches to regulation in other jurisdictions. It also identified ongoing and planned research, and made some recommendations for further research.

The full report can be found at:

Key findings

The review found that evidence on the use and impact of card-based and cashless technologies in gambling is limited. 

This limited evidence suggested that cashless and card-based responsible gambling features (CCRGFs) were used by some, but not all, gamblers.  The features relating to transparency and information (for example, statements showing how much people have gambled) were more popular than more restrictive features such as pre-commitment (for example, self-imposed limits on time and spending) or self-exclusion.

Evidence also suggested that for players to start using new technologies they need to be informed, the systems need to be reliable and easy to use, the registration process needs to be efficient, and security and confidentiality must be prioritised.

Very few other gambling regulators had definitive regulations on cashless and card-based technologies, despite being aware of their potential to help problem gamblers.  Most jurisdictions remained cautious, and many were monitoring the outcomes of ongoing research.

Some industry stakeholders did not feel that the costs or challenges in adopting such technology would be proportionate with the commercial opportunities available.

The review made a number of recommendations for further research, including a feasibility study to assess the capabilities of such technology, and pilot studies to explore player behaviour and attitudes.  The authors stressed the importance of conducting research in real environments, such as live gambling venues.


Page last reviewed: October 2013

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