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Path to Play methodology

A multi-stage approach was taken for this research spanning three phases that continually built on one another. The three stages were:

Scoping phase

Desk research to conduct an audit of existing knowledge, maximising the value of previous Consumer Voice projects and external research and identifying gaps in our understanding of different journey types and consumer groups.

Qualitative exploration of consumer journeys

  • depth interviews to build a rich picture of how behaviours and attitudes may start and become embedded, and how that impacts ongoing behaviour. This involved eighteen 1.5hr interviews with gamblers who engage in a variety of different gambling types
  • digital diaries spanning two weeks, with 27 participants, to capture detail on the consideration and play experience in-the-moment, and with reflective activities to bolster our understanding of the path to play stages – with particular focus on understanding the risks to players at the different stages of the play journey
  • for both qualitative stages, participants were a range of ages, GB regions, Socio-Economic Groups, lifestage, ethnicity and PGSI ratings, and all to have gambled in the last 6 months (excluding those who have only taken part in lotteries)

Quantitative validation and sizing

A 20 minute online quantitative survey asking about the influences they may experience at each path to play stage. Questions were anchored within one recent gambling moment so that data could be interpreted by activity type (with the exception of passive influences which applies across activities). We spoke to 937 gamblers who had all gambled within the last 12 months. Gamblers who had only taken part in lotteries were excluded. Demographic quotas were in place to ensure the sample was representative of GB gamblers as a whole.

A core part of the analysis of this stage was formed by looking at the ‘prevalence’ of influences (the percentage of gamblers who experienced it), and the ‘encouragement’ of each influence (the percentage who say it influenced them to gamble, among those who experienced it). By combining these two elements, we arrive at an ‘impact’ score – the percentage of all gamblers who recognise that this influence has an impact on their behaviour.

By looking at influences in this way, we have one overall ‘impact’ score for every influence which allows us to compare their impact at an overall level. It also gives us a more nuanced view, allowing us to identify the influences that work more as ‘background noise’ (high prevalence but low encouragement) as well as niche but powerful influences (low prevalence but high encouragement)

Throughout this research, it is worth noting that we are relying on the claimed impact of each influence – i.e. the factors that gamblers are able to recognise as having an impact on their behaviour. There may well be influences that work at a more subconscious level where the full impact is not recognised. We have gone some way to mitigate this by capturing the prevalence of influences in the quantitative stage to identify how many people notice the influences, even if the impact isn’t recognised, but this doesn’t tell us which are more influential when they do occur.

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Understanding Consumer Journeys: Introducing the Path to Play
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The Path to Play framework
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