Understanding use of consumer protection tools among Internet gambling customers: Utility of the Theory of Planned Behavior and Theory of Reasoned Action.Addict Behav 2019; 99:106050AB
Consumer protection tools such as activity statements, deposit limits, and temporary self-exclusion are provided by most Internet gambling websites to minimise gambling related harms through the prevention of problems and enhancement of controls for those at risk of disordered gambling. However, customer engagement with these tools is very low. Developing a theoretical framework to understand the reasons individuals use consumer protection tools is important to design strategies to increase uptake. Customers of Australian online wagering sites (N = 564) completed an online survey with a follow-up (N = 193) to assess whether the Theory of Planned Behaviour explained intention to use tools and actual behaviour with additional consideration of past tool use. Results showed that past tool use, attitudes and subjective norms, but not perceived behavioural control, were positively correlated with intention to use consumer protection tools. Intention to use the tools prospectively predicted actual tool use. The study validates past behaviour as a predictor of intention, and intention representing a significant predictor of future behaviour. The Theory of Reasoned Action (without the inclusion of perceived behavioural control), rather than Theory of Planned Behaviour, appears to be a suitable conceptual model to understand consumer protection tool use for Internet wagering websites. Use and application of consumer protection tools on gambling websites is not perceived as effortful, but under volitional control and straightforward. Positively influencing individual attitudes, perceived views of others and past tool use could increase online wagering customers' use of consumer protection tools.