From the average gambler to University researchers, everyone agrees that slot machine games can be dangerously addictive. In fact, it is thought that slots are at least four times more addictive then their card game gambling counterparts like Blackjack and Poker.
The problem is ” lot of people think that every time you spin a slot machine you’re getting closer and closer to a win,” according to Dr. Micheal Wohl, head researcher at the Carleton University Gambling Laboratory. They may even just be thinking this on a subconscious level. Unfortunately, it is not the case; the odds of winning or losing are always exactly the same. Therefore, slot players will keep funneling money into the games due to the illusion of a waiting reward, one that usually never comes.
Furthermore, unlike roulette, craps and other traditional casino attractions, slots is a solitary game. There is no fear of judgement from your fellow players. No nerves from public scrutiny. No pressure from competition. Therefore, nothing distracts or discourages the player from their drive to win, to disastrous results.
Another interesting phenomenon observed by the gambling lab was the biological responses to slots. Voluntary test subjects were asked to wear a virtual reality visor that allows them to walk through a casino environment – complete with other gamblers, neon lights and of course an absolute absence of clocks. Then the gambling team can monitor everything from rising blood pressure to changing hormones. It was found that all factors being monitored intensely spiked in activity at near wins on a slot. This implies that the act of losing itself creates a ‘high’, a feeling that slots users subconsciously try to recreate again and again.
Some online promotions are even designed to encourage addictive slots behavior with bigger prize incentives, which sound good on paper, but are incredibly wasteful in reality. One memorable case was comprised of a £5000 slots tournament prize. To stay in the race, you needed to play slots every single day for 4 weeks and spend a minimum of £11,200 in all!
The player who had spent the most would win the £5000 prize. Ironically this prize amounted less then half of what the winner had ended up spending (£18,200), while everyone else got absolutely nothing for their trouble. To top it all off, the £5000 prize wasn’t even cash but casino bonus money!