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12.09.2019 | Original Paper

Making EGMs Accountable: Can an Informative and Dynamic Interface Help Players Self-regulate?

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Gambling Studies
Autoren:
Christopher A. Byrne, Alex M. T. Russell
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Electronic gaming machines (EGMs) are recognised as one of the most harmful gambling forms, because they promote high-speed repetitive gambling and automatically reinvest winnings. These features, amongst others, make it difficult for EGM gamblers to keep track of their play. Tools to assist gamblers exist, but have limited effectiveness because they require user registration and manual activation, leading to low uptake. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of a more informative interface (including removal of automatic reinvestment of winnings) and pop-up messages on gambling behaviour, and on player experience. A total of 213 Australian participants, recruited through social media, played a simulated online EGM. The experiment was a two (standard vs. informative interface) × two (pop-ups absent vs. present) between-subjects design. The informative interface: promoted keeping track of spins played; increased accurate estimation of amount spent (as did pop-up messages) and time played; and provided game usage figures which acted as cues to quit play. Once the initial deposit (but not winnings) was expended, informative interface users could opt to reinvest their winnings, although many opted to exit at that point. No difference in total spending or dissociation was observed between experimental groups. Informative interface users reported no reduction in enjoyment. Pop-up messages reduced enjoyment with the standard interface, but increased enjoyment when paired with an informative interface. These findings indicate that a more informative interface and pop-up messages may be useful in reducing the harmful nature of EGMs.

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