Live casino slot machines give us an insight into how people think. The anxiety and need to play slots indicate the risk people are willing to go to increase their financial status. In a world that is surrounded with frightening realities such as terrorism, financial crisis and global warming scares, people turn to slots to gain a sense of control over their lives.
Slot machine designs are aware of all the internal needs of people and create games that feed on this. This is the art of creation that makes it so hard to quit. Slot machines are the most popular form of gambling due to this fact.
In the Zone
Humans naturally zone in on things and the mind focuses solely on the task at hand. This works well when it comes to sports or work but when you zone in on gambling, you run the risk of addiction. The addictive tendencies may only be within the game you’re immersed in at the moment or perhaps more long term. When you play slots at any one time for a long period, financial loss is pretty much guaranteed.
UBC’s Center for Gambling Research conducted a study where a group of people who had never played slots were compared to a group who had a lot of experience with slots. The experienced group of gamblers self described themselves as being problem gamblers. During the experiment, subjects played real slot machines within the UBC casino lab. They performed a secondary task, monitoring a video panel. They would hit a button every time a white square turned into a red circle.
When the gambling addicts tried this task, it was challenging them, proving that they had a more difficult time focusing on other things while playing slots.
Chasing Losses Is the Problem
The UBC team believes that warning messages being shown on the screen is much more effective than signs posted around the casinos. Due to their studies, they concluded that sending the warning message on the screen they’re fixated on is the only way to get the message through at the essential time. Messages will likely read, ‘if you’ve lost track of time … perhaps something is wrong.’
Murch believes that one of the biggest issues is that problem gamblers lose complete track of time. They forget how long they’ve been playing. When they begin to lose money, which the inevitably will, they gamble to win back losses which only drives them further into problematic situations. Winning back losses isn’t realistic because statistically, the games favour the house.
Some Solutions are Coming to Light
This is why a team of UBC researchers decided to create a study on how to negate gamblers from zoning in on slot machines for too long. While the pastime of playing a few games of slots is acceptable, gambling your rent money away is not. In British Columbia alone, there are 28,000 problem gamblers. However, even the BC Government states that when gambling is done responsibly, it’s harmless entertainment. Furthermore, the studies conducted by UBC show that when flashing warning messages are placed on the game’s display screen, the fixation can be broken.
Spencer Murch, the lead author of the study had this to say about their findings, “The ideal responsible gambling messaging system for someone who is playing a slot machine is something that is presented intermittently overtop of the spinning reels.”
If the method is successful in casinos, it may eventually be incorporated into online slots. So, when players join SlotsOnlineCanada.com, they can enjoy all the slot games they’ve always played while being reminded every so often that overdoing it can become a problem.
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