Maira Andrade

I’m a Level 6 undergraduate psychology student at the University of East London. I was the recipient of a UEL Internship award that allowed me to work alongside gambling addiction experts to conduct the current research. Our study focused on exploring the consumer protection and safer gambling practices of forty frequently visited cryptocurrency-based online operators.
I hope to continue investigating cryptocurrency-based online gambling and its potential risks to individuals. My interests also include the cognitive underpinnings of addiction with a focus on impulsive behaviour and decision-making.

Safer gambling and consumer protection failings amongst 40 frequently visited cryptocurrency-based online gambling operators

Delegate Poster Prize-winner (student-led), 2022: Best overall student-led poster

This is the first study to investigate consumer protection features at the intersection of two internet trends. Cryptocurrency-based online gambling operators have emerged very recently, and yet, have also become very prominent. The main contribution of this study is the demonstration of widespread failings in safer gambling and consumer protection features amongst forty frequently visited cryptocurrency-based gambling operators. A total of ten safer gambling practices and consumer protection features were investigated using content analysis. Significant consumer protection failings related to identity verification were identified. These findings are especially meaningful when it comes to the protection of young and at-risk individuals, as it could facilitate minors engaging with online gambling and also allow individuals who self-excluded or are undergoing treatment to access gambling products online. Moreover, safer gambling tools has been found to be offered to consumers at considerably lower levels than what has been found in previous studies of traditional online operators in the United Kingdom, limiting individual’s opportunities to engage with gambling management tools. Findings also suggest that crypto gambling black markets could become a greater challenge than conventional black markets if regulators cannot restrict access or block gambler’s payments through centralised payments. In addition to the risks inherent to cryptocurrencies, the findings of this study indicate that cryptocurrency-based gambling is a fundamentally riskier proposition for consumers, in comparison to traditional online gambling, and this topic should certainly be of interest to academics who want to further explore the potential risks associated with this new online gambling trend.

Poster link: Safer gambling and consumer protection failings amongst 40 frequently visited cryptocurrency-based online gambling operators