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Evaluation of the "take time to think" safer gambling message: A randomised, online experimental study

Newall, Philip W.S.; Hayes, Ty; Singmann, Henrik; Weiss-Cohen, Leonardo; Ludvig, Elliot A.; Walasek, Lukasz


Philip W.S. Newall

Ty Hayes

Henrik Singmann

Elliot A. Ludvig

Lukasz Walasek


In October 2021, a majority of the UK gambling industry implemented a new UK safer gambling message, “take time to think”, which features on gambling advertising and websites. An effective safer gambling message could plausibly affect several relevant gambling behaviours, with previous research suggesting that message effectiveness is maximised via messages that are displayed prominently immediately prior to gambling. We experimentally tested this message’s effect on four contemporaneous gambling behaviours (the proportion of available funds bet, clicks for help service information, mean speed of play, and the total number of roulette spins made) in an incentivised online roulette game in a sample of UK-based online gamblers. Participants (N=2,305) were randomly allocated to either a: ‘no-message’ control, ‘message’ shown throughout condition, or a ‘message+’ condition, where the message was shown throughout and also via a popup immediately prior to the roulette game. Overall, the results showed no credible effects across the four outcome measures when comparing either of the message conditions to the no-message control. Even the prominent display of the “take time to think” message did not lead to credible beneficial effects on a range of contemporaneous gambling behaviours.


Newall, P. W., Hayes, T., Singmann, H., Weiss-Cohen, L., Ludvig, E. A., & Walasek, L. (2023). Evaluation of the "take time to think" safer gambling message: A randomised, online experimental study. Behavioural Public Policy,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 8, 2023
Publication Date Mar 8, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 8, 2023
Journal Behavioural Public Policy
Print ISSN 2398-063X
Electronic ISSN 2398-0648
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information On temp embargo sheet. Will need to add volume, issue, pagination. KJB 21.02.23


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