The Impact of ‘Take Time to Think’ on Gambling Behaviors”

October 6, 2023


The realm of gambling, while offering a thrilling experience to many, also conceals the potential risk of developing harmful gambling habits. The study titled “Evaluation of the ‘Take Time to Think‘ Safer Gambling Message: A Randomised Online Experimental Study” sheds light on the effectiveness of safer gambling messages, particularly focusing on the ‘Take Time to Think’ message.

This blog post aims to unravel the key findings of the study, providing readers with valuable insights into the world of safer gambling advocacy and its impact on gambling behaviors.

The Essence of ‘Take Time to Think’ Message

The ‘Take Time to Think’ message is embedded in the gambling environment with the intent to encourage gamblers to reflect on their actions, fostering a safer gambling atmosphere. The study meticulously evaluates the impact of this message, exploring its influence on various gambling behaviors and the overall gambling experience.

Key Findings and Implications

The study, while employing a rigorous experimental approach, reveals some pivotal findings regarding the impact of the ‘Take Time to Think’ message on gambling behaviors:

  • Proportion Bet Analysis: The study utilized a Zero-One Inflated Beta Regression (ZOIBR) model to analyze the proportion bet across different message conditions. The model provided a comprehensive understanding of the betting behavior of participants, revealing that the message conditions did not credibly impact the proportion of money bet by participants.
  • Clicks for Help Service Information: The analysis of the rate of clicks for help service information, such as the Gamcare link, was conducted using a Bernoulli model. Across all message conditions, the click rate was relatively low, indicating that the message did not significantly drive participants to seek help or additional information about safer gambling.
  • Speed of Play: The speed of play, or the time taken between two spins in the roulette game, was analyzed using a shifted log-normal mixed-effects model. The distribution of betting times was notably right-skewed, with an observed mean betting time of 9.7 seconds. The model effectively described the betting time distribution, providing insights into the speed of play across different betting conditions.
  • Impact on Gambling Behavior: The study found a positive relationship between participants’ Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) scores and gambling behavior, indicating that participants with higher PGSI scores tended to gamble more money in the experiment.

The findings underscore a crucial point: while the ‘Take Time to Think’ message is embedded with good intent, its impact on altering or moderating gambling behavior is not significantly evident. This raises pertinent questions about the efficacy of such messages and calls for a reevaluation of the strategies employed to promote safer gambling.

The Bigger Picture: Messaging and Gambling Harm Reduction

The study illuminates the complexity of influencing gambling behavior through messaging alone. It suggests that while messages like ‘Take Time to Think’ are crafted with the intention to mitigate gambling-related harm, their actual impact on gambling behavior may be limited or non-significant.

This revelation brings to the forefront the importance of adopting a multi-faceted approach towards reducing gambling-related harm. Messaging should not be the sole strategy but rather a part of a comprehensive public health approach, which could encompass:

  • Support Services: Enhancing and promoting support services for individuals who may be struggling with gambling-related issues.
  • Structural Changes: Implementing changes in the structural characteristics of gambling products to inherently make them safer.
  • Personalized Messages: Developing messages that convey information accurately about a gambler’s situation, which might be more effective than generic slogans.


The ‘Take Time to Think’ message, while conceptually sound, does not demonstrably impact gambling behavior to a significant extent, as per the study. This underscores the necessity to reevaluate and potentially recalibrate the strategies employed in the realm of safer gambling advocacy. A holistic, multi-pronged approach, which goes beyond messaging and encompasses various strategies to mitigate gambling-related harm, might pave the way towards a safer gambling environment.

In navigating through the complexities of gambling behaviors and safer gambling strategies, it is imperative to continually scrutinize, evaluate, and adapt strategies to ensure they are effectively mitigating harm and fostering a safe gambling environment.

Note: This blog post is crafted based on the key findings and insights extracted from the study “Evaluation of the ‘Take Time to Think’ Safer Gambling Message: A Randomised Online Experimental Study“. For a comprehensive understanding and detailed insights, readers are encouraged to explore the full study.

Author Matt

Writer, journalist, and on-air host focusing on sports betting and casino gambling. Work has been featured on Forbes, Yahoo Finance, SportsIntel,, BeInCrypto, and Outkick.