Blue gum gaming machine: An evaluation of responsible gambling features

Abstract

Structural characteristics of gaming machines contribute to persistence in play and excessive losses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of five proposed responsible gaming features: responsible gaming messages; a bank meter quarantining winnings until termination of play; alarm clock facilitating setting time-reminders; demo mode allowing play without money; and a charity donation feature where residual amounts can be donated rather than played to zero credits. A series of ten modified gaming machines were located in five Australian gambling venues. The sample comprised 300 patrons attending the venue and who played the gaming machines. Participants completed a structured interview eliciting gambling and socio-demographic data and information on their perceptions and experience of play on the index machines. Results showed that one-quarter of participants considered that these features would contribute to preventing recreational gamblers from developing problems. Just under half of the participants rated these effects to be at least moderate or significant. The promising results suggest that further refinements to several of these features could represent a modest but effective approach to minimising excessive gambling on gaming machines.

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