Environmental factors in the choice of EGMs: A discrete choice experiment

Abstract

EGMs are a form of entertainment, and the gambling environment is an important contributor to the overall experience. Logically, to select a play-environment, EGM gamblers must choose the platform through which to access the EGM (e.g., internet, mobile application or land-based venue), a particular provider (e.g., specific website, app vendor or branded casino), and the game itself (e.g., based on graphical theme or bonus features; Thorne et al. in J Gambl Stud, 2016. doi: 10.1007/s10899-016-9601-2 ). A discrete choice experiment was conducted to identify the features of the platform, provider and game that are most strongly preferred by EGM gamblers. Participants were 245 EGM gamblers from clubs in Victoria, Australia and 7516 EGM gamblers from an Australian online panel. Results indicate that the ideal environment for the average gambler consists of: gambling at a club that is close to home; with a group of friends; in a relatively quiet place that has air conditioning, cheap food and a large space to play in; on a classic game with quality animations and small bet sizes; where you feel safe and secure; and where there is a wide variety of other games to play when you are done. Segmenting these results by problem-gambler status highlights important differences in preferences between problem and non-problem gamblers. Problem gamblers are less likely to give weight to the company they share and have a preference for larger venues. Using a powerful paradigm from marketing research, the present study was able to determine the relative value of different features of the EGM gambling environment, and also contributes important insight towards what constitutes a safer environment for recreational play.

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