Category Archives: Slot Machines

The Casino Trap for the Elderly

There is no doubt that casinos target the elderly. Seniors have access to money until they run out. They respond positively to attention they do not get at home. They come during the day which is often a slack time …

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Skill Based Slots

The next wave of slots will have an element of skill involved, which will slightly increase the player’s chance of winning. The goal is to entice younger players who largely shun regular slot machines.   The difficulty is to provide …

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How Casinos Get You to Spend the Most Money

How casinos are layed out, from the positioning of the tables, down to the lighting and carpet patterns, is no accident.  But nothing is more directly related to end-of-the day profits than the strategy of the carefully placed slot machine. …

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Music and sound effects contribute to why you keep losing at slot machines

A research team at the University of Waterloo has done extensive studies of the psychology of gambling.  Music and sound effects create a false positive for slot players.  Modern slot machines with several lines produce music and sound effects associated …

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The rise of penny slots

The name “penny slot” implies that these machines are essentially harmless- after all, what use is there for one penny? However, these machines, which are rapidly growing in popularity, garner huge profits for casinos at the expense of players. These …

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80 years of slot machine trickery

This article, dated December of 1932, over 80 years ago, explains how slot machines are built to make players lose, and it still remains true today.  It not only goes into detail as to how these machines mathematically cheat players …

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Study Shows Slot Machines Are Built to Deceive

According to this Washington Post story, a new report reveals that slot machines are maufactured to trick players. The machines often use positive reinforcement, in the form of celebratory sounds, to convince gamblers they have won when they are actually losing their money. 2013 Slot …

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How a magic carpet ride became a slot machine game

Chicago-based WMS have created a slot machine that provides a ride-like experience for users. The idea behind this new wave of slot machine was that once you experience it, you will keep playing, reaching into your pocket, and putting in …

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University research outlines the dangers of slot machines

The Carleton University Gambling Laboratory, a think-tank deciphering what makes gamblers keep coming back, says slot machines are nearly four times more addictive than regular card tables. Head researcher, Prof. Michael Wohl, said that’s because players can sit for long …

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Near Misses Are Like Winning to Problem Gamblers

The brains of problem gamblers react more intensely to near misses than casual gamblers, new research from the University of Cambridge has found. The results help explain what keeps problem gamblers betting even though they keep losing. Near Misses are …

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Slot Machine Profits Jump 70% In a Decade

According to Nevada Gaming Control Board statistics, there were about 197,000 slot machines in that state that won roughly $4.8 billion from gamblers in 1997. By 2007, the number of slot machines increased just 2.5 percent to 202,000, but the …

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Casinos Make Their Money From Slot Machines

Why do predatory gambling operators push slot machines over other forms of gambling? According to Casino Operations Management, a textbook written by Jim Kilby, Jim Fox and Anthony Lucas, a typical large casino receives 60-70% of their profits from slots …

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The Effects of Video Poker in South Carolina

In 1997, Dr. Quinn founded the South Carolina Center for Gambling Studies and directed a statewide study of Video Poker’s impact on South Carolina. This study outlined the pattern of devastation Video Poker was having on average citizens and demonstrated …

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By Misleading Players, Slot Machine Design Spurs Problem Gambling

This article explains how reel electronic gambling machines (EGMs) have been designed to mislead players and have directly contributed to the high rate of problem gambling: “Unbalanced reel design must be a major factor, if not the major factor, in …

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Instant Racing Machines Are Just Slots By Another Name

To circumvent existing state gambling laws, gambling interests are pushing “Instant Racing Machines” or what are also called “Historic Racing Machines.” They are simply just slots by another name. The short brief below includes an excerpt from a recent Wyoming …

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New Facts About Video Poker Machines

Some states either have already legalized video poker machines in bars and restaurants or are pushing hard to do so. Here is some excellent information compiled by ILCAAP in Illinois about these highly predatory and addictive machines. New Facts About …

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The Secrets of a Slot Machine

Dennis Bailey, the Executive Director of Maine’s Casinos No!, wrote the piece below which details how slot machines are heavily weighted in the casino’s favor. The Secrets of a Slot Machine

Misrepresented Game Outcomes and Problem Gambling

This research by Prof. Kevin A. Harrigan at the University of Waterloo looked at how slot players’ perceptions were influenced by a technique that has been used since 1983 in North America, called “clustering.” By observing the player perceptions (the …

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Slot Machines: Distorted Player Views of Payback Percentages

This paper by Prof. Kevin A. Harrigan at the University of Waterloo presents a sample three-reel three-coin slot machine game with a bonus for three coins, and a true payback percentage of 85.6% when one or two coins are wagered …

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Having Multiple Versions of the Same Slot Machine Game May Impact Problem Gambling

In this paper, Harrigan and Dixon examine how the same slot machine games with different payback percentages may affect the player’s behavior. Interestingly, slot machines with higher payback percentages (offering a perceived air of fairness for the player: 98% vs. …

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The Design of Slots and the Implications for Problem Gamblers

This research by Prof. Kevin A. Harrigan at the University of Waterloo examines characteristics of Ontario slots and what the implications are for problem gamblers, including analysis of the probability accounting reports (or PAR sheets) to see how the games …

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The New York Times Magazine Exposes Modern Slot Machines

This must-read New York Times Magazine cover story by Gary Rivlin exposes the slot machine business as predatory and deceptive. 2004 New York Times story on slots by Gary Rivlin

Inside a Slot Machine

Learn how a slot machine works by playing this one. The Las Vegas Sun developed this virtual slot machine to work just like one on the casino floor. Examine what goes on inside the machine and begin to understand why …

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Slot Machines Near Misses Are Perfectly Tuned to Stoke the Addiction

The Discover Magazine blog helps explain the allure of slot machines and the difficulty that some gamblers have in walking away by highlighting that, to a gambler’s brain, a near miss provides almost the same high as a win. Slot …

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The Software and Design of Slot Machines

University of Waterloo (Canada) computer game design researcher Kevin Harrigan, whose research has made headlines around the world, recently testified before the New Hampshire Gambling Study Commission to explain the software and design features of slot machines. Through Canada’s Freedom …

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Graphic of the Design and Technology Behind Slot Machines

Here is an excellent visual of the design and technology behind slot machines that accompanied a March 2009 Boston Globe news story on the topic titled “Glitzy video slots seen as a particular addiction risk.” (click on graphic to enlarge)

Behind Electronic Gambling Machines

Drawing on research conducted in Las Vegas among game developers and gamblers, MIT Professor Natasha Schull provides an in-depth analysis behind the design and technology of electronic gambling machines. Schull Research on Machine Psychology

Meet Your New Neighbor: How Slot Machines are Secretly Designed to Seduce and Destroy You, and How the Government Is In On It

MUST-READ. Here’s what may be the best investigative news story about electronic gambling machines and the partnership between the predatory gambling trade and our government written to date. The reporter was Isaiah Thompson of the Philadelphia City Paper and it …

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Electronic gambling machines represent the most extreme form of predatory gambling and its most lucrative. From The Washington Post: “Beware – Machine Zone Ahead” MIT Professor Natasha Schull writes about the design and technology behind electronic gambling machines in an …

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