An Exploratory RCT to Support Gamblers’ Intentions to Stick to Monetary Limits: A Brief Intervention Using Action and Coping Planning

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The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and impact of an action and coping planning intervention deployed in gambling venues to improve adherence to expenditure limits. We conducted a 2-group parallel-block randomised controlled trial comparing one 20-min session of action and coping planning to an assessment alone. Gamblers who were intending to set a monetary limit on EGMs (n = 184) were recruited in venues and administered the intervention prior to gambling. Measures were adherence to self-identified gambling limits and adherence to expenditure intentions at 30-days post-intervention using the Time Line Follow-Back. The intervention was feasible in terms of recruitment and willingness of gamblers to engage in a pre-gambling intervention. Most gamblers enacted strategies to limit their gambling prior to entering the venue, albeit these limits were on average higher than the Australian low risk gambling guidelines. In terms of impact, the intervention did not improve adherence to limits at post or 30-day follow-up assessment. However, Moderate Risk/Problem Gamblers in the Intervention group spent less (a median of $60 less) than intended (median $100) within the venue. All intervention participants intended to spend significantly less in the 30 days after the intervention compared to the amount spent in the 30 days prior to the intervention. This reduction was not found for participants in the control group. A simple brief intervention appears feasible in gambling venues and have an impact on gambling intentions over the short term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-404
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Intentions
  • Pre-commitment
  • Prevention
  • Responsible gambling
  • Self-regulation

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